"States must show they are protecting children in order to get flexibility. These states met that bar," Arne Duncan said.

By Greg Seaby, CNN

Washington (CNN) – The U.S. Department of Education granted eight additional states waivers Tuesday from strict requirements of the No Child Left Behind law.

The White House announced a deal last year that allows states relief from provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, or No Child Left Behind (NCLB), if certain standards are met.

The federal flexibility will be allowed “in exchange for state-developed plans to prepare all students for college and career, focus aid on the neediest students, and support effective teaching and leadership, ” according to the U.S. Department of Education.

With the addition of eight news states, the Obama administration has approved 19 states so far, while 17 states and the District of Columbia are under review.

U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced the latest waivers for Connecticut, Delaware, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Rhode Island at an event in Hartford, Connecticut.