I’m heading into Seattle tomorrow morning for the Washington State PTA Legislative Assembly. Hopefully we'll have an easier time voting on our issues than Congress has reauthorizing ESEA. Washington is one of the now 38 states, joined by Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, who have recently announced their intention to apply for a No Child Left Behind (NCLB) waiver from the federal government.
The 12 states who have not indicated that they will apply for a waiver are Alabama, Alaska, California, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
Intent to apply isn’t binding and states who have not expressed intent are still welcome to apply later this year or next year. Although the exact numbers of states may change, the large interest in the waivers gives a pretty clear picture that this law is broken and needs actual reform.
For now, the administration is left to take matters into their own hands, overriding existing laws in an attempt to keep state education systems functioning. Critics of the waivers are almost as numerous as critics for NCLB.
How long will it take before lawmakers can agree on legislation to help improve education for our kids?