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NCLB Outrages

Spellings pushes on her own to keep No Child law alive

By Greg Toppo

WASHINGTON ΓΆ€” With just more than a year left in office, Education Secretary Margaret Spellings says she plans to take matters into her own hands on the 6-year-old No Child Left Behind law and use her executive authority to push through changes that have stalled in Congress.

She says the changes can't wait for congressional action or a new administration. Congress has not renewed the 2002 law, by which the federal government funds public schools.

In an interview Wednesday, Spellings said she'll visit nearly half the states in the next three to four months to seek support for several ideas.

Among the proposed changes, which she said she plans to outline in a speech today at the National Press Club:

ΓΆ€ΒΆ Expand a program that gives schools credit for individual students' year-to-year academic improvements.

ΓΆ€ΒΆ Allow different consequences for chronically underperforming schools and those in which just a few students don't improve.

ΓΆ€ΒΆ Require states to use a uniform definition of high school graduation rates.

"Absent a reauthorization this year, the new president is not going to show up and work on George Bush's No. 1 domestic priority," Spellings says.

"They will have their own priorities."

— Greg Toppo
USA Today


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