The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001, the revised Elementary and Secondary Education Act, offered a potent blend of new requirements, incentives and resources, and posed significant challenges for states.
The law set deadlines for states to expand the scope and frequency of student testing, revamp their accountability systems and guarantee that every teacher is qualified in their subject area. NCLB required states to make demonstrable annual progress in raising the percentage of students proficient in reading and math, and in narrowing the test-score gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students.
After 10 years, NCLB has successfully re-focused attention on the need for state's and the nation to close the achievement gap that plagues our education system. However, over the years, significant flaws in the law have come to light and there is widespread outcry for a new and improved NCLB. As a result, the federal government is offering flexibility from the law's provisions to states in exchange for innovative efforts to close achievement gaps, promote rigorous accountability, and ensure that all students are on track to graduate college- and career-ready. As of August 2012, 33 states have been granted waivers.
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