President Obama is expected to announce today that he will allow ten states to be exempted from the strict test-based measures of the No Child Left Behind Act. The states are Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee — and our beloved neighbor New Jersey. New Jersey schools have been struggling to address the achievement gap between their poorer students and minority groups and more well-off students.
Governor Chris Christie has been pushing for several controversial education overhauls to address the gaps, including greater funding for charter schools and stricter student-achievement-based accountability rules for teachers. Like our Mayor Bloomberg, Christie is not loved by his state’s teachers union, New Jersey Education Association.
Exemption from the Bush-era No Child Left Behind law, with its strict emphasis on testing and yearly evaluations, will allow these ten states the opportunity to address their educational issues without worrying about losing valued federal funding.