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Ill. might seek waiver to No Child Left Behind Act

(via Flickr/Lauren Manning)

Reporting from Rachel Otwell of WUIS used in this report.

Illinois might seek a waiver that would provide relief to schools struggling to meet the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act.

The federal law was designed to improve achievement and raise test scores. Schools that failed to keep pace with the standards would be penalized. But as the requirements become more rigorous each year, more schools are struggling to hit the mark.

The U.S. Department of Education now says it won't enforce the testing component for those states that set up their own programs to measure student performance. Illinois may go that route.

"There is an artificial benchmark set that doesn't really measure student progress," Mary Fergus, a spokeswoman for the Illinois State Board of Education, said."So, what we have said is that we want to see testing that really focuses on student growth and improved achievement rather than on unrealistic benchmarks that say, by 2014, 100 percent of students have to be meeting or exceeding standards."

Fergus said Illinois will wait to decide whether or not to seek a waiver to the No Child Left Behind Act once more details are released in September.