NEW ORLEANS — Federal officials have again granted Louisiana a waiver from compliance with the Bush-era No Child Left Behind education law.
In 2011, the Education Department announced that states could petition for waivers from the law’s ambitious requirements, such as having all students read at grade level by 2014 or else risk their federal funding.
In exchange, states pledged to improve how they prepare and evaluate students.
The U.S. Department of Education said Monday that Louisiana, which received a waiver in 2012, has implemented reforms that go above and beyond the law’s requirements. They praised the state’s use of former teachers, principals and superintendents in teams developed to help school districts with various aspects of teacher improvement, curriculum development and programs to put students on paths to college or careers.
“The plan Louisiana submitted allows for high expectations for Louisiana students and reduced red tape for Louisiana educators,” state education department spokesman Barry Landry said in an email Monday evening.
The NCLB act has been due for renewal since 2007. While the nation remains far from reaching the goal of all students achieving math and reading proficiency by 2014, Democrats and Republicans agree the act needs revision but have been unable to agree on how to change it.
The Obama administration announced in 2011 that states could apply for waivers. Republicans have since charged that the president was overreaching his authority and imposing his vision for education on the states.
Recently, critics of Common Core standards developed as a bipartisan effort by the National Governors Association and state education superintendents, have accused the administration of using federal money to illegally pressure states to adopt the standards and testing.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a former Common Core supporter, has made that charge in a federal lawsuit in Baton Rouge.
In Washington, Sen. David Vitter, R-La., said Monday he will introduce an amendment to an upcoming federal spending bill to prohibit the federal government from mandating specific academic standards, including Common Core.