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Minnesota granted waiver from No Child Left Behind

Minnesota was one of 10 states granted a waiver from the No Child Left Behind law Thursday in Washington, D.C.

Minnesota Department of Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius was on hand at the White House for the announcement by President Barack Obama.

Joining Minnesota in securing freedom from the 11-year-old act were Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

NCLB requires a state to give students in grades 3-8 an annual test in reading and math. All government-run schools receiving federal funding are required to give students the same test under the same conditions. The students' scores are the gauge which determines Title I funding through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.

"Teachers will continue to use Minnesota standards to guide student learning," Wadena-Deer Creek Superintendent Virginia Dahlstrom said. "Minnesota assessments will continue to be based on Minnesota standards."

Provisions to be waived will be:

• 2014 goal of 100 percent proficiency

• Sanctions on schools resulting from not making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)

• Mandatory financial set-asides for School Choice and Supplemental Education Services

• Sanctions for districts results from not making A YP

• Identification of schools as in need of improvement, corrective action and restructuring

• Identification of districts as in need of improvement and corrective action

Minnesota's application had to meet four principles

• College and career-ready academic standards

• State-developed system of differentiated recognition, accountability and support

• Supporting effective instruction and leadership

• Reducing unnecessary administrative burdens

"The NCLB waiver will not make a difference in WDC's goal to support student achievement in math and reading," Dahlstrom said. "Students will continue to be assessed and held accountable for learning. The labeling of Minnesota schools will be a major change, and also, flexibility in how school administrators can utilize federal funding to support student achievement."