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New Mexico Gets NCLB Waiver, One Week Late

New Mexico has been granted a waiver from the No Child Left Behind Act, federal officials announced today, less than a week after the state was the only first-round applicant for flexibility under the law to have been denied that request.

In one sense, the announcement making New Mexico the 11th state to receive a waiver should not come as a major surprise.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan had said last week that New Mexico was "very, very close" to securing a waiver, at the time he announced that the other 10 had been given that flexibility. Duncan was guarded about which aspects of the state's plan needed work, but New Mexico officials evidently have met those standards.

Of the first 10 states, three—Florida, Georgia, and Oklahoma—were given waivers on a "conditional" basis, meaning the Obama administration is requiring them to meet certain standards before they're granted leeway under the decade-old federal law.

But New Mexico's waiver approval is not conditional, a U.S. Department of Education official tells Education Week.

The other states that have secured waivers so far are: Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Tennessee. The next deadline for states to apply for NCLB flexibility is Feb. 28, and federal officials have said they will accept other applications throughout the rest of the year.

See my full post on this topic as a guest blogger on Politics K-12.

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