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Published May 22, 2012, 06:26 PM

MN Schools Say Goodbye to 'No Child Left Behind'

WARREN, MN (WDAZ-TV) - Some Minnesota school officials are happy to say goodbye to "No Child Left Behind" thanks to a new rating system.

WARREN, MN (WDAZ-TV) - Some Minnesota school officials are happy to say goodbye to "No Child Left Behind" thanks to a new rating system.

After the state was granted a waiver from federal mandates, some local school officials think a new rating system is good for everyone involved.

New ratings were released Tuesday by the Minnesota Department of Education to gauge student achievement and school performance. Several local schools are looking at how to increase student performance each year.

"That should be the number one goal of every school: student achievement, And we'll continue to have that goal," Warren-Alvarado-Oslo High School Principal Craig Peterson said.

A goal made a little bit easier as Minnesota schools say goodbye to "No Child Left Behind" and hello to a new rating system.

"What I think the new system, the state system vs. the federal system will be more representative of our growth, our students and keeping in mind factors such as economic and social and regional variances," W-A-O Superintendent Dr. Ron Bratlie said.

The new system rates schools from zero to 100 percent. The percentage includes test progress students have made, standardized test scores, progress in closing the achievement gap and several other factors.

"The high school, we're at I want to say 51.4 percent. That takes into account points based on graduation rate, proficiency, achievement in reading and math," Peterson said.

Both East Grand Forks and Warren-Alvarado-Oslo had average percentage points. Neither are among the lowest-performing which have to work with the district and state to change the way they operate.

School officials say this is a great way for schools that need help to learn from those who are achieving the highest scores.

"It certainly is an incentive to improve and recognize improvement and maybe set the standards as more gradual rather than absolute and I think that was the problem with the federal system, no child left behind," Bratlie said.

Schools that receive Title 1 funding are the only schools designated under the new system.

Statewide, 127 schools are considered reward schools, which are the highest performing and top 15 percent. There are 42 priority schools, which are the lowest five percent of Title 1 schools, those that need the most work.