U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings on Nov. 18 announced a pilot program through which qualified states can submit proposals for developing growth models of assessment that follow the principles of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).

The announcement, which Spellings made in Richmond, Va., during an address to the Council of Chief State School Officers' Annual Policy Forum, marks a significant policy shift in how federal officials interpret the testing requirements of NCLB.

A growth model of assessment is a system of measuring individual students' academic improvement as they advance from grade


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