The federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965 was reauthorized in 2002 as the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act.

In May 2012, North Carolina was granted flexibility waivers from many of the NCLB provisions. This flexibility, granted by the U.S. Department of Education, makes significant changes to North Carolina’s implementation of ESEA’s requirements especially in the areas of Adequate Yearly Progress, parent notifications, public school choice and Supplemental Educational Services. These waivers will allow North Carolina’s public school system to move forward with strengthened College- and Career-Ready expectations for all students, new ways to hold Title I schools accountable for students' academic proficiency, and new initiatives to support effective instruction and leadership.

Many of the former strict federal requirements regarding Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) and sanctions for schools that do not make AYP are no longer required statewide and are now local school district decisions.

While schools will still be measured against annual measurable objectives (AMOs) calculated and reported under NCLB, the new standards will recognize growth in performance and will no longer be the “all or nothing” targets of the past. North Carolina’s goal is to provide more and stronger support to enable all students to graduate from high school career and college ready. Information about how the federal ESEA program is implemented is available on the Federal Program Monitoring’s ESEA website at