Indiana Among 10 States Freed From No Child Left Behind, Bennett Applauds Decision

By Scott Sarvay
By Maureen Mespell

February 9, 2012 Updated Feb 9, 2012 at 6:56 PM EDT

INDIANA (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – Indiana is one of 10 states President Obama is giving a waiver to excluding them from No Child Left Behind law requirements.

No Child Left Behind requires all students to be proficient in reading and math by 2014. The waiver will allow Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Tennessee to offer an alternative plan in hopes of achieving similar results.

The states must show they will prepare children for college and careers, set new targets for improving achievement among all students, reward the best performing schools and focus help on the ones doing the worst.

In the 10 states granted a waiver, students will still be tested annually, starting in the fall of 2012.

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels had the following to say:
"No Child Left Behind was an important step forward, but it needed additional flexibility that Congress hasn’t yet provided. The waiver will make for a fairer system and one that focuses on what matters most: getting the whole system to perform better in terms of student learning."

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett released the following statement regarding the NCLB waiver.

"I applaud the U.S. Department of Education for providing states the flexibility they need to drive academic achievement for all students. Indiana’s commitment to comprehensive reform has enabled us to be among the first states receiving a waiver. This is a tribute to the hard work of so many educators, students, parents, community members and policy makers in our state.

No Child Left Behind was a giant step forward for our nation’s schools. It brought accountability to a system sorely in need of a structure for driving results. However, as new advances in measuring student achievement and educator effectiveness have become available, the need for increased flexibility at the state and local level is more apparent than ever.

Indiana will take advantage of the flexibility we have been granted with this waiver by continuing to pursue policies that produce better academic outcomes for our children."

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