On August 12th, 2013 Maine became the 40th state to be granted a waiver from the requirements of NCLB. In a press release on the Maine Department of Education website:
Governor Paul R. LePage and State Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen announced today that the U.S. Department of Education has granted Maine a two-year waiver from school improvement provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, also known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB).
Maine joins 39 other states that have successfully applied for flexibility since 2011 because the accountability requirements of NCLB – including 100 percent student proficiency in math and reading by 2014 – were universally unobtainable and not sensitive to the individual challenges of schools and states, especially rural ones.
Currently, about 67 percent of Maine’s elementary school students and 48 percent of high school students have achieved proficiency in math and reading. As a result, without the waiver, many schools in the state could have been subject to federal sanctions.
The Department of Education also announced Maine’s Waiver in a press release citing, since fall 2011, 45 states, D.C., Puerto Rico and the Bureau of Indian Education have requested waivers from NCLB in order to implement next-generation education reforms that go far beyond the law’s rigid, top-down prescriptions. The Education Department has now approved requests from 40 states and D.C., with other applications still pending.
“Forty states and the District of Columbia can’t wait any longer for education reform,” said U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan. “A strong, bipartisan reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act remains the best path forward in education reform, but as these states have demonstrated, our kids can’t wait any longer for Congress to act.”
Please refer to the Maine SES page for copies of all documents pertaining to Maine’s request.