State may seek No Child Left Behind waiver - WSMV Channel 4

State may seek No Child Left Behind waiver

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

No Child Left Behind was supposed to improve education in the country.

But in just a few years, many Tennessee schools could be failing and have to pay a steep price. That's why Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is considering asking the federal government for relief.

Under No Child Left Behind, 100 percent of students must be proficient in math and reading by 2014.

Even parents say that's probably not going to happen.

"I think it's not realistic," said parent Krishonda Lanier. "It's a good goal to have, but we all have fantasy lives we like to lead. I would like to be a billionaire."

President Obama has estimated that under the current law, 80 percent of schools in the country could face sanctions like a loss of federal money.

But Congress has been slow to act, leading U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan to float the idea of releasing states from some of the requirements of No Child Left Behind.

That could mean if states don't meet the standards, they won't have to face the sanctions.

"So many schools are not going to meet that criteria," said Haslam. "Something is going to have to be done."

Haslam said they are already having discussions about applying for a waiver and believe the state is well positioned to get one.

"That's a real possibility that will happen," said Haslam. "We've spent a good deal of time talking about that recently."

What isn't clear is what the federal government wants states to do in exchange for a waiver, especially in Tennessee where there were so many changes to win Race to the Top.

"I can't imagine what additional commitments he would be requiring from Tennessee because we've already made so many changes which other states have not," said Carol Schmook, Tennessee Education Association.

Lanier has two kids in public schools and said she would rather have schools focus on individual goals.

"I think every student needs a realistic goal," said Lanier.

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