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Published February 10, 2012, 04:16 PM

Minnesota School Districts Freed From No Child Left Behind Law

EAST GRAND FORKS, MN (WDAZ-TV) - Some Minnesota school districts are celebrating President Barack Obama's decision to waive 10 states from No Child Left Behind requirements.

EAST GRAND FORKS, MN (WDAZ-TV) - Some Minnesota school districts are celebrating President Barack Obama's decision to waive 10 states from No Child Left Behind requirements.

Some schools struggled with the law and couldn't get federal funding if they couldn't meet the standards.

Now schools will focus more on career and college readiness, with students being tested on what they should know, not whether they can excel on a test.

The No Child Left Behind Law left school districts like East Grand Forks in the dust. Last year all four of the district's schools failed to meet the requirements. Now, the district can focus on more than just tests.

"We'll have the ability to go back and focus on the career and college readiness as a broader scheme I think is going to be very beneficial to Minnesota schools," EGF Schools Superintendent Dave Pace said.

East Grand Forks Schools were among 1,056 of Minnesota's 2,255 schools that failed to make "Adequate Yearly Progress" toward the law's goal to have all students proficient in reading and math by 2014.

"When you are receiving sanctions because of a pretty small number of students taking dollars away from a larger percentage that are receiving those needs, that was the detrimental part," Pace said.

Although some schools made AYP several years in a row such as Warren-Alvarado-Oslo, making that grade was still stressful.

"Kids get so tired of testing, they blow it off, well when they blow it off they don't realize how important it is. Students not having to be preparing for tests but for the future and being tested on what they should know not whether they can excel or not," Warren-Alvarado-Oslo Superintendent Dr. Ron Bratlie said.

Schools will be placed in different categories instead of measuring yearly progress.

This includes reward schools or schools making progress, focus schools or schools that need some help and priority schools, those that need the most help.

"I hope this will help us, the staff, the students, the school board to have some flexibility in establishing a good educational platform for students," Bratlie said.

10 states are free from the law including Minnesota, Colorado, Indiana, Georgia, Florida, klahoma, Tennessee, New Jersey, Kentucky and Massachusetts.

28 other states have shown interest in applying for the waiver as well.

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