The addition of Alaska, Hawaii and West Virginia brings to 37 the number of states operating outside the Bush-era law, along with the District of Columbia. Eight additional states, the Bureau of Indian Education, Puerto Rico and a coalition of California districts are waiting to hear about their requests, which would further dismantle the federal education overhaul from coast to coast.
"Thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia can't wait any longer for education reform," Duncan said in a statement.
No Child Left Behind, also known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, came up for renewal in 2007 and its requirements were not updated. Duncan has pushed lawmakers to revisit the law and make changes to accommodate challenges officials did not anticipate when they first passed the measure on a bipartisan basis in 2001.