States to get waivers on No Child tests - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

States to get waivers on No Child tests

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The Obama administration has unveiled plans to give school districts a break from the stringent testing mandates in the No Child Left Behind Law, as long as they pursue other reform efforts.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said on Monday that President Barack Obama is authorizing him to grant waivers because Congress has failed to act.

Critics call the law's benchmarks unrealistic and say they brand schools as failures even if they are making progress. Duncan told reporters said the law is filled with "perverse incentives" and schools are "begging" for relief.

He noted Obama sent lawmakers an overhaul proposal 16 months ago, but they haven't managed to agree. Duncan added, "We can't afford to wait" - and said the administration will provide districts waiver details next month.