Obama Administration Offers Flexibility from No Child Left Behind

Today, the Obama Administration outlined how states can get relief from provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act – or No Child Left Behind (NCLB) – in exchange for serious state-led efforts to close achievement gaps, promote rigorous accountability, and ensure that all students are on track to graduate college- and career-ready.

Get the Facts:

Sign up for email updates from ED to continue to receive information about ESEA.


  1. I hope that the revised flexibile NCLB provisions will allow students who don’t want to pursue an academic career to complete the basic courses and spend the rest of their time learning a trade skill and working part time to help support their families. Some of the most valuable skills I learned in school were learned working in a grocery store in middle school and high school. These Distributive Education programs including part time employment did not keep me from attending the University of Texas at Austin on an academic scholarship and receiving a BBA and a MPA degree. Vocational training does not exclude academic success, but allows many students to mature and develop.

  2. What I can’t understand is we are worrying about children being left behind, but what about the smarter students who have to come down a level so the slower students can keep up. I don’t know but there is just something wrong with this. Both my children come home bored to death from school because they already know how to do the school work. It’s pretty pathetic when my 4th grader (age 9) comes home with a spelling study sheet with the word deer on the list, come on people what is wrong with this picture? I spoke with his teacher and it’s the same thing that I’ve heard since my children started school, NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND, we have to teach to all the students in the class. So yep my child is being left behind because he can’t learn on the level that he should be and guess what these kids will be the ones that drop out of school because they are so bored they just don’t want to be there anymore. I think kids need to be tested in the beginning of the school year and those that are slower learners need to go into one class and the higher learners in another class.

  3. I really do not think they have nailed it just yet and have only tempered with the educational process of children to place a delay in education of those children. A parent really needs to personalize student education in order to understand how it works.

  4. I know that students have to take test. Why not make sure that your student has been taught all the Standards with Skills that they will be tested on. I have a method for all teachers to use that will assure that every student she teaches will be taught what they need to know to pass the test. I can provide a sample if someone wants to view this method of teacher instruction.

  5. I understand and do think there is a need to allow some flexibility in testing. However, doing it by fiat is setting a bad precedent and is probably illegal. Imagine for example a different President deciding to allow waiver of the law to say education doesn’t have to be provided at all. Or perhaps waiving labor laws saying school districts don’t have to recognize teachers unions. Or perhaps waiving environmental laws saying it’s OK to pollute the ocean if you’re a company worth $1 billion. As frustrating as it is to have legislatures refuse to do their jobs, It doesn’t justify breaking the law that exists.

    • I agree with you , John. But also know that if we have bad laws, or laws that have severe unintended consequences, then someone needs to stand fast and go about legally changing the law.
      If we have to allow something that is good, but carries financial penalties if disallowed; i.e., waived, there should be no consequences, namely, funding.
      Unrealistic goals were set for students who will never be able to perform at the same RATE as others. That shouldn’t label those children as failures.

  6. Enviorment plays an important key in a child developmental process. To say the least I am referring to the lack of resources in communities as well as the school’s curriculum. I personally know that there is no dumb child. Some are going to be lawyers and doctors and some are not going to perform at their full academic potential. However, they are other talents that should be encouraged. Thank you so much Commander in Chief in making a 360 to the provisions of the NCLB . I see nothing but good things for you Sir. God bless you Mr. President!

    • My child is being left befind . He has a 504 that was not followed . I would like to talk with you . we are having a very serious thing going on in the Bisbee schools. please if you would make some time for me I would really like to tell my story..

      • I feel so bad for you because the truth of the matter is that school officials across this country do not care. I will pray for you as that is the best hope you will have.

  7. I beleive this testing would work if it was set for every student. Students are individuals who work at different paces and different ways so to expect each student to take the same test is unrealistic. Standarized Testing should be part of our schools but make it so the students can really and truly give it their best. As of right now over half the students in schools around here don’t even try because they believe it isn’t important. We read tests to students who can’t read as well as others but we can’t read these tests to them.We modify for some studentrs but these tests can’t be modified. Why?

  8. Thank you Mr. President for taking a firm stand on this issue. Now maybe teachers can focus on lessons and not the unrealistic requnirements of a broken system. I’m a believer of reaching for the stars but not at the cost of my child’s education and their confidence. Every child is different and flexibility is key. We waisted years over testing lets get back to basics and focus on how we are going to create confident, well rounded, analytical thinkers, prepared to be competitive in today’s global market. Wake up congress and invest in America’s future. Do our children a favor….leave no child behind.

  9. Well done Mr. President! There are some things you can do without congress, such as the Flexibility on NCLB. You did it! and educators around this country do thank you for it. Now States are accountable and will need to be more involved in our childrens public education. There focus had been on non-public schools and funding.
    Again Thanks!

    • Margaret its a sin that the last administration threatened to cut funding to children that really need financial support, penalizing schools that didn’t reach an unrealistic goal by 2014. This program was passed on favors and butt kissers. I hope parents remember that in November. I thought we frown on bullying. Our educational system was held hostage. Thank God (hehe) someone with brains and a moral conscious is protecting our kids.

  10. I think this is major progress for the previous and current graduating highschool students within the Gwinnett County in Georgia. That is THE only county in the state of Georgia that has a Gateway test that has and have prevented a slue of graduating students from obtaining their highschool diplomas to further their education in college. It is an absolute outrage. Yes, my son was a victim of Gwinnett’s county poor structure. Such prevention discourages students for excelling and forces them to obtain a GED to receive a diploma, although their record shows that they have met the high school credits and passed all of the state test. We as parents need to speak up for those children. Remember, they are our future and we bear responsibility to make certain this county do not fail them, while they receive millions of federal funding.

Comments are closed.