The Illinois State Board of Education has sent the U.S. Department of Education a 685-page waiver in an attempt to opt out of federal No Child Left Behind requirements that all students are rated proficient in reading and math by 2014. In their attempt to get out of the national testing requirement that the George W. Bush administration and Congress drew up in 2001, the state board actually proposes numerous additional tests for Illinois students. The Board will then use these state tests as part of a one-to-five star rating they assign to schools and school districts.
The federal Education Department has approved 11 states for the waiver. Twenty-six other states are in Illinois' boat of awaiting the Obama administration's decision on waiving NCLB requirements.