Washington becomes first state to return to No Child Left Behind

Friday, April 25, 2014

Two years after Washington state largely ditched the No Child Left Behind Act, the much-maligned federal education law will be in full effect there yet again for the coming school year, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said Thursday.

Last August, the Education Department placed Washington, Oregon and Kansas -- and later Arizona -- on "high-risk" status for losing their waivers from the law. Washington's standing became precarious because it did not meet the federal government's guidelines, which tie students' standardized test scores to teacher evaluations.

In February, Washington's legislature killed a bill that would have brought the state into compliance with those teacher evaluation requirements. Current state law says that teacher evaluations can rely on standardized test scores but does not require it. Despite Duncan's explicit warning that failure to comply could mean loss of the state waiver, the bill failed with bipartisan opposition.

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