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Texas Fined for Defying No Child Left Behind Provision

Education Secretary Margaret Spellings has fined Texas about $444,000 for defying a provision of the No Child Left Behind Law.

For two years, Texas has exceeded the federal cap on how many students can be given an easier exam instead of the rigorous Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills.

In a stern letter released last evening, Spellings said the Texas Education Agency has not shown why she should not withhold the money from the agency's 2004 federal grant. TEA officials could not be reached for comment on the fine.

Texas Education Commissioner Shirley Neeley has said progress by special education students cannot be accurately measured unless the tests they take are tailored to their abilities.

But critics say the state is trying to inflate test scores by exempting students who otherwise might perform poorly on the TAKS.

— Associated Press


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