Monday was the deadline for the first round of applications, but a majority of states are expected to apply in future rounds.
President Barack Obama said in September that states that do certain things such as develop better teacher evaluation systems can apply for waivers around some requirements in No Child Left Behind. The first waivers are expected to be granted early next year. Critics have said the law it too rigid and sets unrealistic standards.
The states that applied this week are Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Tennessee.