Ten States Get Waivers From 'No Child Left Behind'

ABC News' Ann Compton and Mary Bruce Report:

President Obama will announce today that he is granting 10 states waivers from the central requirements of "No Child Left Behind," granting flexibility to states that have agreed to implement the president's education agenda and reform the way they evaluate students.

Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Tennessee have all agreed to raise standards, improve accountability and take steps to improve teacher effectiveness, the president will announce today.

As currently written, the Bush-era law allows states to set their own goals for academic success, but they risk losing federal education funding if their students fail to show "adequate yearly progress." Critics, including Obama, say this system encourages states to "dummy down" standards to report better progress.

"Current law labels too many schools as failing, dictates unworkable remedies, and results in driving down standards, weakening accountability, and narrowing the curriculum," a White House official said.

The 10 states receiving waivers will be exempt from meeting the 2014 NCLB goals, but must set new targets for improving student achievement. The states must put in place accountability systems to reward high-performing schools and adopt rigorous interventions for their lowest-performing schools, according to the White House.

Eleven states requested waivers after the president announced in September that he would allow states flexibility from the strict mandates of NCLB. The White House continues to work with New Mexico, the eleventh state in the first round.

Twenty-eight other states along with Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. have indicated their intent to seek flexibility.