MANCHESTER – Today, Kevin Smith, Republican candidate for governor of New Hampshire, made the following statement regarding New Hampshire's decision not to seek a waiver from the federal mandates in 'No Child Left Behind':

“I’m very disappointed that Governor Lynch has not yet sought a waiver from the burdensome federal mandates that are part of the No Child Left Behind law. Even our liberal neighbor to the south, Governor Patrick, sought and received a waiver. Clearly, someone is asleep at the wheel in Concord.

“New Hampshire has some of the best schools and educators in the country, but many of our schools have been unfairly classified as ‘in need of improvement’ under a Federal, one-size-fits-all standard. New Hampshire should request a waiver to develop its own standards for measuring proficiency in students and school districts. If Governor Lynch doesn’t understand that, then things are worse than we thought in the governor’s office," Smith added.

“The Federal standards are arbitrary and excessive, and have led to more than 300 of NewHampshire’s 469 public schools – 65 percent – as being labeled ‘failing’ by the federal government.  Either John Lynch decides to own that number himself, or he should get behind a state waiver now.  There is a window of opportunity here for greater flexibility and more local control, and New Hampshire should have the ability to measure its own schools and students.

“I’m running for governor, because our state needs leadership. No Child Left Behind has been a major concern in New Hampshire for years. It’s time that we start regaining local control of our education. As governor, I will work tirelessly to ensure that New Hampshire schools and teachers have more time for educating our youth, and spend less time dealing with senseless and costly mandates sent down from Washington.”