"It is results that truly matter, not the bureaucratic way you get there," declared Education Secretary Margaret Spellings. She was addressing an April 7 meeting with state education chiefs at Mount Vernon, the estate of America's first president, George Washington, just south of Washington, D.C.

The announcement was portrayed as a major policy shift for the U.S. Department of Education (ED) in its implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The department now will permit greater flexibility to states in the implementation of the law, Spellings said--provided states can demonstrate student achievement through

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