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"No Child Left Behind" Changes Could Be on the Way

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Change could be coming to the nation’s cornerstone education law, No Child Left Behind.

During a speech Monday, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called on Congress to rework the statute.

The law, signed by former President George W. Bush in 2002, originally meant what its name suggests: that no child should fail state tests in math, reading and science. It called for 100 percent of students to be proficient in those skills by 2014.

Despite giving states control over their own standards and standardized tests, many say the law sets the bar too high, and testing every year to ensure improvement has become a major point of contention.

But it’s also something Secretary Duncan says he’s not willing to budge on.

Rather than eliminate the testing mandate, Duncan says the new law should set limits on how much time students spend taking tests.

Indiana is one of 43 states with a waiver from parts of the law. Specifically, the Hoosier State has its own progress goal for every school to earn an “A” grade by 2020. Test scores play a big part in those grades – as well as other things like evaluations and teacher pay – so changes to testing requirements could mean changes on the ground here, as well.

Discussions about the law will continue over the next few months, as leading lawmakers hope to have a bill on President Obama’s desk before the summer.

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