News Local/State

Illinois Gets No Child Left Behind Waiver


After more than two years of trying, Illinois has finally won a waiver from the federal education law known as No Child Left Behind. 

The waiver does not mean much for schools in Illinois. Illinois has already been moving beyond the No Child Left Behind law for some time, even as it waited for permission from the federal government.

Matt Vanover, a spokesman for the Illinois State Board of Education, said there were problems with No Child Left Behind.

"It was punitive in nature in that if a school's students didn't make certain performance benchmarks, then the school would be penalized, there'd be less flexibility to meet the local need," Vanover said.

Now, Illinois will use a multitude of factors to assess schools -- not just test scores. The state also adopted different learning standards for English, math, and other subjects; and it's been implementing  a new system for evaluating teachers.