Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that faced with outcry from the sates about the unrealistic requirements of the education law No Child Left Behind, the Obama administration will grant waivers to states.
"The states are desperately asking for us to respond," Duncan said in a conference call with reporters Friday.
Duncan and Melody Barnes, President Obama's domestic policy adviser, were short on specifics but said they would release details in September, when they will begin weighing applications from any state that wants to be exempted from No Child Left Behind.
Administration officials said they will grant waivers to states that adopt standards designed to prepare high school graduates for college and careers, use a "flexible and targeted" accountability system for educators based on student growth and make "robust use of data," among other things.
Rep. John Kline (R-MN) told the Times through a statement that the waivers would undermine Congress' efforts to rewrite the law.
Politico reports that the White House has asked for months now that Congress rewrite the law by September, "but as the calendar moves closer to Obama's deadline, the House and Senate have moved on separate paths at a pace the White House says is not nearly fast enough."
"Today we're less than a month from the start of the school year, and...we still believe there is no clear path toward a bipartisan bill to reform 'No Child Left Behind,' said White House domestic policy adviser Melody Barnes in a conference call with reporters, the contents of which were embargoed until Monday.
"Our administration has been working on plans to provide more flexibility. The president has directed us to proceed with those plans."