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Loopholes seen at schools in Obama get-tough policy

With an agenda that Arne Duncan, the secretary of education, has described as a “quiet revolution,” the Obama administration has pushed rigorous new standards for a majority of the nation’s public schools as well as requirements that states and districts evaluate not just schools but individual teachers, in part by assessing their ability to improve student scores on standardized tests, the New York Times reports. But some critics suggest that at the same time the administration has gotten tough on teachers and set higher standards, it could be allowing states to set new, unambitious goals for how quickly students must reach those standards, particularly poor and minority students.

“We repeatedly look for ways to game the system and fuzz up the fact that our kids aren’t being educated to the standards that they need,” said Amy Wilkins, vice president for government affairs at the Education Trust, a nonprofit group that works to close achievement gaps…

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