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Georgia seeks 'No Child' exemption

Sept. 20, 2011 at 7:54 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Ga., Sept. 20 (UPI) -- Georgia schools should be judged on a range of student results and not on a single test, state officials said in asking to be exempt from federal requirements.

State School Superintendent John Barge asked U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan for an exemption from No Child Left Behind requirements, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Barge specifically wants to get away from basing assessments of schools' progress on the Criterion Referenced Competency Test.

Duncan has asked Congress to amend the law, passed early in the presidency of George W. Bush, but there has been no action so far.

"Nobody's afraid of accountability, but they want to be held accountable for the full scope of work that they do and not just a test score," Barge said during a news conference in the office of U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., who was one of the authors of the original law.

Under Barge's plan, 20 factors would be used to measure progress in high schools and 13 would be used for elementary and middle schools. Those would include everything from attendance to student scores on final exams and scores on college entrance exams, and the percentage of graduates able to go on to college or technical training without additional remedial work.

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