Yesterday was the deadline for states to give the U.S. Department of Education a heads-up that they want to apply for a waiver under the No Child Left Behind Act, and 40 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico say they plan to go ahead.
These notices of "intent" to apply aren't binding—and would-be applicants can change their minds and decide to apply, or not to apply. But the list, which the department released this morning, gives an early indication of the status of waiver interest across the country.
The waivers would offer added flexibility under the law, in exchange for adopting certain education-reform conditions. The rest of the states didn't file a notice of intent, which is merely a courtesy for the department.
In addition to saying if they plan to apply, those filing a notice also indicated when they plan to apply: by the first-round Nov. 14 deadline, in mid-February, or some other time.
These are the 17 early-birds that say they plan to apply by Nov. 14: Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont and Wisconsin.
Twenty-one others plan to apply in mid-February: Arkansas, Arizona, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, and Washington. (UPDATE 10/13, 9:50 P.M.: Arizona just filed their intent to apply for a waiver. UPDATE 10/14, 10:32 A.M.: Utah just filed their intent as well. UPDATE 10/24: New York has filed its intent now, too.)
And two states, Connecticut and Oregon, say they want a waiver but didn't indicate a timeline.
Most interesting , to me, are the 11 states that so far have not signaled they want a waiver: Alabama, Alaska,
Arizona, California, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
UPDATE: See the full story, with explanations from most of those 10 states on why they didn't indicate they will seek a waiver, here.
And, for an analysis of how states' participation—or lack of participation—in common standards and common assessment work might affect their waiver chances, read Curriculum Matters.