Five more states are being granted waivers from the Bush-era No Child Left Behind law.
An Obama administration official says Arkansas, Missouri, South Dakota, Utah and Virginia will be granted relief from key requirements of the law. Twenty-four states now have been approved for waivers.
Democrats and Republicans in Congress agree the law needs to be fixed but can't agree on how.
The law requires all students be proficient in math and reading by 2014, a goal the nation remains far from reaching. As that deadline approaches, an increasing number of schools have been labeled "failing."
The waivers allow states to develop their own accountability plans, focusing on preparing students for college and improving teacher effectiveness and school performance.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity before Friday's announcement.