WASHINGTON (AP) - The Education Department said Tuesday that 11 states, including Tennessee, have sought a waiver around unpopular proficiency requirements in the No Child Left Behind education law.
Monday was the deadline for the first round of applications, but a majority of states are expected to apply in future rounds.
President Barack Obama said in September that states that do certain things such as develop better teacher evaluation systems can apply for waivers around some requirements in No Child Left Behind.
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has warned that 82 percent of U.S. schools could be labeled failures next year if the law is not changed.
The first waivers are expected to be granted early next year. Critics have said the law is too rigid and sets unrealistic standards.
The states that applied this week are Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Tennessee.
To get a waiver, states must agree to education reforms the White House favors -- from tougher evaluation systems for teachers and principals to programs helping minority students.
Tennessee Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman told reporters in a conference call Monday that the waiver application requires more specificity and some new requirements, such as dividing schools into categories with targeted interventions or rewards for each group.
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