Five more states have been granted relief from key requirements of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind law, bringing the total to 24 states given waivers, an Obama administration official said Friday, the Associated Press. Arkansas, Missouri, South Dakota, Utah and Virginia will be freed from the No Child Left Behind requirement that all students test proficient in math and science by 2014, a goal the nation remains far from achieving. In exchange, the states and all others granted waivers must develop accountability plans that set new targets for raising achievement, advancing teacher effectiveness, preparing all students for careers and college, and improving the performance of low-performing schools.

“We all understand that the best ideas don’t come from Washington, and moving forward, these states will have increased flexibility with federal funds and relief from NCLB’s mandates, allowing them to develop locally-tailored solutions to meet their unique educational challenges,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in draft remarks released to The Associated Press…

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