Hawaii gets approval for education law waiver

U.S. DOE approves waiver requests from 37 states, D.C.

 UPDATED 12:40 PM HST May 20, 2013

The Obama administration has approved Hawaii's request for a waiver from provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind education law.

In 2011, the administration announced it would let states avoid certain requirements, like students showing they're proficient in reading and math by 2014, if other conditions were met.  Those conditions included states imposing their own standards to prepare students for college and careers and setting evaluation standards for teachers and principals.

Critics of No Child Left Behind call it a one-size-fits-all approach to education.

Hawaii Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi says Monday's approval will help focus on college and career readiness, rewarding high-performing schools and customizing student support.

The U.S. Department of Education says it has approved waiver requests from 37 states and the District of Columbia so far.

"Like many states, Hawaii can no longer wait for education reform at the federal level," said Rep. Colleen Hanabusa.  "With these waivers, the education of Hawaii’s next generations is fully Hawaii’s concern; it is our kuleana.   I am confident that we will remain vigilant in ensuring that our efforts allow our students to reap the benefits of an excellent education."

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