At a White House event this afternoon President Obama will announce that 10 of 11 states that applied for NCLB waivers are getting them -- sort of (Ten states given No Child Left Behind waiver AP). A dozen states applied for the waivers, but the initial review of their applications by the USDE was scathing and it's likely that they've agreed to do much more than they initially promised to do in order to win approval (States Applications Fail To Hold Schools Accountable For Student Performance AP). So how much flexibility did the states actually get, and how much did they promise to give in exchange? We'll know this afternoon.
Meantime, ISBE is developing its own waiver application. More than half the states have indicated an interest in applying for a waiver -- anything to get out from under NCLB's AYP rating system -- though a handful are waiting and seeing or have said that it's not worth the expense since it's also possible that Congress will do an NCLB reauthorization after the fall elections. The deadline for the next round is Feb. 21. Some states have posted their draft applications for review and actually made changes in response to public input but I don't see the draft on the ISBE page.
Interestingly the waiver process unites progressives who want NCLB dismantled much more than waivers would allow and conservatives who want responsibility for education sent back to the states and fear that promised flexibility won't be meaningful.
Here's some footage from the White House science fair earlier this week. No word yet on whether President Obama will use the marshmallow cannon as part of the waiver announcement.