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Commissioner says Missouri moving closer to education law waiver

Missouri is moving closer to asking the federal Education department for a waiver from the requirements of the 10-year-old “No Child Left Behind” law, state Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro told the state Board of Education this week.

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“As long as there aren’t strings attached to it, to getting a waiver that we cannot, as a state, embrace or live with — to my thinking, there is no downside,” Nicastro said. “We’re still in the process of evaluating those (waiver guidelines) very carefully.”

Since Congress passed the No Child Left Behind law in 2001, some educators have embraced its goals of having every student learn at a “proficient” level by 2014, while others have decried its regulations that presume all students can improve at the same pace.

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