Education waiver gives Minnesota flexibility 09 Feb 12

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Minnesota school officials say the waiver President Barack Obama is giving them from the strict requirements of the No Child Left Behind education law will give them the flexibility and resources they need to effectively help struggling students.

Instead of relying on one high-stakes annual test to determine if students are making “adequate yearly progress,” Sam Kramer of the state education department says Minnesota schools will use several indicators to determine how students are doing – and which schools need help. There will also be new rewards for schools that perform well.

School officials say they’re relieved teachers will have less incentive to focus on preparing students for achievement tests rather than on their overall education and that financial penalties against struggling schools will be eliminated.

By STEVE KARNOWSKI Associated Press
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)