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Oregon, Idaho Seek No Child Left Behind Waivers

SALEM, Ore. - Oregon and Idaho are among the states to already announce they’ll seek a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind education law. The Obama administration announced Friday that states can seek to opt out of portions of the decade old law.

No Child Left Behind was the centerpiece of former President George W. Bush’s education policy. The goal of the act was to improve student achievement, especially in struggling schools in low-income communities.

But critics say the law forces schools to “teach to the test.” And states have been seeking the flexibility to opt out of some of the law’s requirements.

Oregon governor John Kitzhaber and state school superintendent Susan Castillo plan to apply for a waiver. Castillo spoke by cell phone after attending the president’s announcement in Washington D.C..

“We know that we could be making much more efficient use of those funds if we had flexibility to use them instead of the cookie-cutter approach that is under No Child Left Behind,” she said.

Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna also plans to seek a waiver. He calls it a symbolic shift of power back to states.

In Washington state, superintendent Randy Dorn has yet to announce his plans.

On the Web:

No Child Left Behind waivers:

White House facet sheet:

Gov. Kitzhaber’s statement on NCLB:

Idaho superintendent’s statement:

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