(AP) — Texas said Thursday it will seek a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education to avoid some federal accountability standards imposed by the No Child Left Behind law, despite past worries about the possible strings attached to such a reprieve.
Texas had joined some of the nation’s largest states in previously shunning the Obama administration’s offer to avoid certain key mandates of the law, which was championed by former President George W. Bush.
No Child Left Behind went into effect in 2002 and its goal is for all children to be proficient in math and reading by 2014. But its standards were getting progressively more rigorous each year, and federal education officials suggested that waivers would give states more leeway to improve how they prepare and evaluate students.
“We strongly believe in accountability, we were one of the states on the leading edge of that movement,” said Debbie Ratcliffe, a spokesman for the Texas Education Agency.
“But we like our system better,” she added, referring to Texas’ own accountability standards for students, teachers and school districts.