“I think ultimately the people understood that the more they got into and the more the years passed and those percentages began to escalate, that there were significant structural problems built into [No Child Left Behind],” said Deal, who voted for No Child Left Behind in 2001 while in serving in Congress.
President Barack Obama announced offering the waivers on Monday, but to get a waiver from the program states must agree to a host of education reforms the White House favors — from tougher evaluation systems for teachers and principals to programs tackling the achievement gap for minority students.
Specifics on the reforms have yet to be released.
“Certainly everyone has been anxious for the federal government to re-authorize and make some changes to No Child Left Behind because, unfortunately, the requirements that are there are not feasible and real in order to make the goals the [federal government] has set,” Cartersville Public Schools Assistant Superintendent Ken Clouse said. “School systems have been behind the eight ball waiting for things to develop and we continue to wait.”
He added, “I think governors across the country have had to take the bull by the horns, so to speak, and take some action to protect schools.”
Under No Child Left Behind, states were required to show that a higher proportion of students were reaching proficiency each year — approaching the goal of 100 percent by 2014.
Calls to Bartow County Superintendent John Harper were not returned at press time.
— Information from The Associated Press was used in this article.