WASHINGTON — The Arkansas State Department of Education has formally requested a waiver from key provisions of No Child Left Behind law.

WASHINGTON — The Arkansas State Department of Education has formally requested a waiver from key provisions of No Child Left Behind law.

Twenty-six states and the District of Columbia submitted requests for waivers by Tuesday’s deadline, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

If a waiver is granted, Arkansas would be able to:

• Set performance targets based on whether students graduate from high school ready for college and a career rather than having to meet NCLB’s 2014 deadline based on arbitrary targets for proficiency.

• Design locally tailored interventions to help students achieve instead of one-size-fits-all remedies prescribed at the federal level.

• Be free to emphasize student growth and progress using multiple measures rather than just test scores.

• Have more flexibility in how they spend federal funds to benefit students.

“The best ideas to meet the needs of individual students are going to come from the local level,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “Like the first round of waiver applicants, these plans will protect children, raise the bar and give states the freedom to implement reforms that improve student achievement.”

Eleven states have already received waivers. A decision on the new applicants should come later this spring.