The No Child Left Behind law was drawn up about 10 years ago to help poor and minority children to become skilled at reading and mathematics by 2014. Unfortunately, the United States has not come close to reaching that goal.
Now New Jersey has become one of 10 states released from meeting the requirements of No Child Left Behind after applying for a waiver from the law. Earlier this week, Gov. Christie commented on what the waiver means to his reforms.
"The Obama administration's approval of our education reform agenda contained in this application confirms that our bold, common sense, and bipartisan reforms are right for New Jersey and shared by the president and (Education) Secretary (Arne) Duncan's educational vision for the country," Christie said in a prepared statement, according to AOL Patch. "This is not about Democrats or Republicans—it is about pursuing an agenda in the best interest of our children whose educational needs are not being met, and those who are getting a decent education but deserve a great one."
An Associated Press report on NBC Philadelphia explained that according to the law, states have to create a plan preparing children for college and their future, set new achievement goals among all students, and reward the schools with the best results and help the ones that need it most. Obama said the law was admirable but flawed, and needed updating, while Republicans felt he was overstepping his authority by granting waivers.
According to AOL Patch, No Child Left Behind’s supporters say ensure it maintains school’s standards, and forces underachieving schools to improve their methods. The laws critics say its deadlines are unrealistic.
An Associated Press story on New Jersey Herald says New Jersey is already implementing changes in trying to improve their schools. The state is a member of the Common Core State Standards Initiative, which standardizes what students are to be taught, and can take effect in the 2012-2013 school year.
Also, New Jersey schools will receive detailed ratings on the progress of various student groups on standardized tests, and the state will intervene in the lowest 15 percent of its schools. And teachers are already being rated on how much their students learn along with factors such as in-class observations by principals.
Baristanet.com reported that the NJ Department of Education applied for the waiver in October.