DETROIT — Michigan and other states can get a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind law if they improve failing schools, strengthen teacher and administrator evaluations and be transparent on college readiness, President Barack Obama said Friday, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Michigan already has applied for a waiver that would excuse it from the NCLB mandate that all students be proficient in math and reading by 2014, the Free Press reported. Obama said he will consider such requests because he believes the law is flawed, according to the Free Press.

Critics say the current law will lead to large numbers of schools being identified as failures and put under sanction because they can’t meet the 2014 requirement, the Free Press reported. In Michigan, about 20 percent of public schools failed to meet the No Child Left Behind interim goals as of 2010-11, according to the Free Press.

That number is expected to increase because the Michigan State Board of Education recently raised the requirements for passing Michigan’s standardized tests, meaning students will have to answer more questions correctly in order to be considered “proficient,” the  Free Press reported.


Detroit Free Press, “States will have to work hard for No Child Left Behind waivers,” Sept. 24, 2011


Michigan Education Digest, “Michigan wants NCLB waiver, calls goals ‘unreasonable,’” Aug. 2, 2011