ESEA Reauthorization

Today, President Obama released the names of the 10 states that will receive flexibility from a set of mandates in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), better known as No Child Left Behind.  Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Tennessee received approval.  An 11th state, New Mexico, submitted a request, but it was not granted at this time.  U.S. Department of Education officials will continue to work with New Mexico's education leaders to make adjustments to their initial request.  Officials in 28  states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico say they will request a waiver to NCLB mandates by Feb. 21, 2012 for the second submission opportunity.

It was nearly one year ago when I met with an official from the U.S. Department of Education for an informal discussion of a variety of education initiatives, including reauthorization of the Elementary  and Secondary Education Act, better known as “No Child Left Behind.” At that time, I was assured the U.S. DOE was confident that Congress would vote on the reauthorization sometime in 2010.

One year and a new Congress later, any progress (if it has occurred) can be measured only incrementally.

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED, The Council of State Governments recognizes that to compete with their international peers, American students must graduate from high school college and career ready.  If implemented properly and funded, ESEA reforms could be long-term steps towards economic recovery and sustainability;