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Florida to Stop 'No Child Left Behind'

The Obama Administration approved waivers for a total of 10 states, allowing them to opt out of most of the rules of the program.

Florida is among 10 states that were released today from the strict educational rules of "No Child Left Behind," local school officials confirmed today.

The lifting of the rules and sanctions were ordered by President Obama for Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Tennessee, MSNBC reported.

The states released from the rules of "No Child Left Behind" had all applied for waivers that allowed them to opt out of the program. Many schools and educators had complained that the focus of classroom instruction was on making children proficient on the federal-mandated tests, rather than understanding the curriculum. School officials also said the test results did not reflect actual individual achievement.

States that were granted the waiver will still be required to give students the standardized tests but there will be no penalties imposed on failing schools.

According to MSNBC:

"Obama's action strips away that fundamental requirement... provided they offer a viable plan instead. Under the deal, 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." 

Florida Education Commissioner Gerard Commissioner Robinson added that flexibility would strengthen the state’s ability to tailor its program to meet Florida’s educational needs.

“Aligning our resources with our needs will lead to continued performance improvement for all students throughout Florida as we work to increase standards and boost national and international competitiveness,” said Commissioner Robinson in a statement. “Approval of our request, however, is but one step in a process required to move forward with the flexibility waiver.”

Florida applied for the waiver in mid-November 2011 and the U.S. Department of Education requested additional information in December. The State Board of Education will take action related to components of the waiver at its February meeting.


Mr. Fish February 09, 2012 at 05:27 PM
I have often wondered why parents would move to Florida with their school age children as the Florida system of education seems to be more proficient in drop outs then success. This is not a Florida only problem. The education that the students receive at my high school is no where as as diverse as when I went to school there. It seems that the education system is dumbing down America to serve those that want to milk the system for money and the need for soldiers for our upcoming resource wars. I hope this step is a reversal of this trend.
risland February 09, 2012 at 08:46 PM
AS history will tell us, no one solution will cure the ills of education. Students need to be taught to observe, research, connect, evaluate, hypothesize, test, codify, and conclude using all the subject matter at their level of cognition. Having to test them at their supposed "cognitive level" can foster focused teaching to that level without regard for all of those connections. Hopefully removing the stress of "teaching to the test" will allow teachers to "teach across the curriculum" and really integrate knowledge so that it makes sense to students. However, without support outside of school to make students value learning, putting it first over other activities, tv, computer, etc. no fix will improve our students' academic achievement. I've seen more talented teachers than ever since I arrived in Florida from Massachusetts and I've worked in both systems. Letting good teachers teach rather than focus on the testing should be a boon to education here unless state and local policies use the removal of the No Child Left Behind policy to cut back support.
Jenny February 10, 2012 at 12:56 AM
Pretty wierd that now kids have so much available to them today compared to when we were kids and yet the kids are fighting, attacking teachers and bus drivers, getting awarded for failing and getting fat. This is what unions have done for them and keep in mind, these kids are the ones that will be taking care of us when we get old. We are in real trouble.
Forest February 10, 2012 at 02:22 AM
A joke. Complete and utter disgrace.
Mr. Fish February 10, 2012 at 07:04 PM
Teach the students how to think. Whoops the powers that be don't want that!

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