Issue Brief 12-23
June 8, 2012

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA, P.L. 80-10) was last reauthorized in 2001 under No Child Left Behind (NCLB, P.L. 107-110). NCLB included a number of new accountability provisions for states and local education agencies (LEAs), including measures of adequate yearly progress (AYP). In recent years, schools and LEAs have struggled to meet these AYP standards. In fact, the Center for Education Policy estimates that 49% of schools failed to make AYP in school year (SY) 2010-2011. Because Congress has yet to restructure these accountability provisions through a comprehensive reauthorization of ESEA, the administration created a waiver process by which states could request flexibility around these NCLB requirements.

On May 29, 2012, the Department of Education (ED) announced that eight additional states will receive waivers from the NCLB accountability provisions. These eight states join the 11 other states that have already been approved for NCLB waivers. Waivers from 18 additional states and the District of Columbia are still waiting approval from ED. This Issue Brief provides background on the NCLB waiver process and an update on the status of the applications.