Spellings: Flexibility on 'No Child Left Behind'

Margaret Spellings at her Senate confirmation hearing.

Margaret Spellings at her Senate confirmation hearing to become secretary of education, Jan. 6, 2005. Department of Education hide caption

itoggle caption Department of Education

A map shows that most states (in green) appear on track to meet the reading and language arts standards for grades 3-8 and high school under No Child Left Behind. Education Commission of the States hide caption

Interactive NCLB Map
itoggle caption Education Commission of the States

No Child Left Behind is here to stay, but states and local districts that show measurable student achievement will have more flexibility in how the law is implemented, Education Secretary Margaret Spellings says.

Many state and local officials have complained bitterly about President Bush's education accountability initiative, saying it undermines states' rights and amounts to an unfunded federal mandate.

With today's change, states still must demonstrate overall progress in student test scores. But the Education Department is giving some states more flexibility in how they test students with disabilities.

"This law is here to stay, it is for the long haul," Spellings says. She says that for the states, the goal is to emphasize "results over bureaucratic compliance and process."

Michele Norris talks with Spellings about the No Child Left Behind Act, the Education Department's public image and the poor physical condition of some schools around the country.

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