Since 2001, the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act have shaped Ohio schools.
The law requires states to test students in certain grades in reading and math, publicly report those test results for all students and for students in certain groups, and set a goal of having all tested students on grade level in reading and math by 2014. It also has a host of other provisions, including requiring students to be taught by “highly qualified teachers” and schools to inform parents if their child’s school is low-performing and offer them extra tutoring or the chance to transfer to another district school.
The law was passed by overwhelming bipartisan majorities in Congress during the administration of President George W. Bush. Bush actually signed the law during a ceremony at an Ohio high school – Hamilton High School in southwestern Ohio — on Jan. 8, 2002.
OIn May 2012, the U.S. Department of Education granted Ohio a “waiver” from some parts of No Child Left Behind.
The waiver means that Ohio no longer has to meet that 100-percent proficiency goal of having all students pass state reading and math tests by 2014. Instead, Ohio can set what it sees as more realistic proficiency goals, target funds towards low performing schools, and create new assessment methods for teachers, principals, and schools.
In return, Ohio had to commit to several policies, including creating a new, tougher way of grading schools and adopting English and math college and career-ready standards — either the Common Core or other standards approved by a state network of college and universities.