Minnesota to apply for exemptions from No Child Left Behind

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Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton announced Monday that the state will apply for a waiver from requirements of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the controversial education legislation passed under George W. Bush.

The administration of President Barack Obama announced this morning that it was allowing some states “flexibility” with some of the legislation’s requirements.

Some in Congress had earlier criticized the use of executive power to loosen  requirements, but the American Independent reports that some congressional stances against the president’s approach have softened.

Melody Barnes, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, told Reuters that the approach wasn’t a “pass on accountability.”

“With no clear path to a bipartisan bill in Congress, the President has directed us to move forward with an administrative process to provide flexibility within the law for states and districts that are willing to embrace reform.”

Dayton, who opposed the bill as a U.S. senator when it initially was introduced, said in a statement that his original concerns about it came true.

“Any education reform in Minnesota must begin and end with what is best for our children. The decade old federal law, known as No Child Left Behind, has failed to meet that standard,” Dayton said. “NCLB has imposed rigid testing requirements, many of which have harmed, not improved, the quality of students’ learning experiences. It has labeled many schools wrongly, by applying invalid statistical measures.”

The exact NCLB requirements loosened by the waiver will likely be released in September.

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