Amid a climate of the most uncompromising partisan politics in recent memory, President Obama has decided to grant states waivers to the more sweeping aspects of No Child Left Behind while we wait, perhaps forever, for congress to pass a rewrite of the notorious education act. Under Obama’s plan, states that adopt certain education initiatives could apply for exemption from the widespread overhauls dictated by NCLB.

In Maryland, per current NCLB targets, a third of our schools are “failing.” As targets rise each year, more and more of our schools would be labeled as such. In a few years, NCLB would require major administrative and program overhauls across a large number of districts.

If Maryland receives a waiver, as the state’s interim Superintendent of Schools believes it will, fewer schools would be considered “failing” and only the bottom fifteen percent of schools would be targeted for major reforms.

Obama is expected to detail his plan to waive aspects of NCLB later today.