WASHINGTON -- The Education Department has approved Pennsylvania's request to ignore parts of No Child Left Behind's requirements in exchange for a plan to improve the schools on the state's own terms.
Secretary Arne Duncan on Tuesday made Pennsylvania the 41st state to win such permission, along with the District of Columbia and a handful of California districts. Duncan says the waivers are required because Congress has not finished a rewrite of the education law, which expired in 2007. Some of its goals proved too ambitious.
The House has passed a rewrite. A competing rewrite has been completed in the Senate, but a vote on that version has not been scheduled.
The department is also considering requests from Illinois, Iowa, Texas, Wyoming, Puerto Rico and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.