Eleven states—Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Tennessee—submitted applications to receive Department of Education waivers from some of the most onerous provisions of No Child Left Behind, including requiring all students meet proficiency standards by 2014. These states must create college- and career-ready standards and intervene in the lowest-achieving 5 percent of all schools.
By meeting the first application deadline, these states may be granted a federal waiver as early as January. The next application deadline is mid-February, but the Department has indicated that it will work with any interested state. As many as 39 states, along with Washington, D.C., indicated intent to apply for waivers at some point. Cash-strapped California calculated meeting the waiver requirements would cost the state $2 billion up front, and is still determining if it will apply.
The Education Department has made public the names of the peer reviewers who will begin reviewing the submitted applications after the Thanksgiving holiday.