Recently, President Obama made it possible for eight more states to get waivers from the “No Child Left Behind” program implemented during the President Bush administration. The controversial educational program has now seen 19 states get waivers that allow them to avoid the potential funding problems that arise from it.
Big Problems With NCLB
The biggest problem that many state governments have had is figuring out how to make sure that every student is proficient in math and reading by the year 2014. Two years ago, it was reported that nearly 40 percent of schools in the country were not going to be able to meet the benchmarks for this program. Some estimate the number could more than double in the coming years without some significant changes for the program. One of the big problems with this legislation is that states can set their own rules for proficiency in both math and reading. This has lead to some states setting the bar way too low in order to continue to receive funding.
More Waivers from NCLB
So far, every request for a waiver from the program has been granted by the administration. Before they have granted the waiver, they have managed to renegotiate the deal that they have in place first. Over the next few weeks or months, more states could be announced as freeing themselves from the program. There are currently 18 more waivers that have been submitted by states, and they are simply awaiting approval.
Another big problem with the current system is that it put specific guidelines on teachers who are unable to get their students up to a certain level. If the teachers and schools can not get the job done, then the state basically intervenes and takes over the program. The problem with this is that so many different schools are failing at these standards the state would be unable to handle this huge burden. Some schools are experimenting with innovative math teaching strategies, new lessons, and other methods to help students perform better. The Obama administration’s ultimate goal is to get high school graduates ready for college or the work force. Currently, the school system is struggling to put competent students out into the real world because of the programs that are in place. If the country’s educational system has a hope, a solution will need to be determined soon.