Monday, November 13, 2006

Alaska denied No Child Left Behind flexibility

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - A federal agency has denied Alaska's application to have more flexibility in judging whether schools are making adequate yearly progress under the No Child Left Behind law.

Alaska was one of 16 states vying for 10 spots in a pilot program to allow states to judge a school's progress based on the percentage improvement in its students' test scores rather than on whether the scores have hit specific targets.

Five states - Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, North Carolina and Tennessee - have already been accepted into the pilot program, leaving only five open slots. The federal Department of Education rejected Alaska's application...

Les Morse, the director of assessments and accountability with the state Department of Education, said the problem is that the current system doesn't give credit to schools if their students are not proficient but improving.

Under Alaska's proposal, Morse said, schools wouldn't be penalized as long as the students were making improvements toward becoming proficient in four years...


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