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US Education Department eases No Child Left Behind rules

[JURIST] The US Education Department [official website] on Tuesday planned to send to states initiatives easing some requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) [PDF text; executive summary; US Dept. Ed. fact sheet], which educators have roundly criticized for its rigidity. In an effort to gain approval and to thwart congressional attempts to amend the law, the Department will allow as many as ten states to use “growth models” that base credit on the academic growth of individual students as opposed to the current system that measures the progress of all students against a federally-mandated standard. Some below-standard schools will be able to offer free tutoring to students before they are forced to allow students to transfer to schools that meet the standards. The initiatives would also waive the suspension of federal funds to some schools if they have made a “good-faith effort” to meet teacher-quality requirements. The NCLB, signed into law in 2002, will continue to require annual testing for students in reading and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 and once in high school. The Washington Post has more.

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