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California fails to win 'No Child Left Behind' waiver

Federal education officials are poised to reject California's self-styled bid to avoid the strict requirements of the No Child Left Behind law, which could lead to radical reforms at hundreds of low-income schools.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said U.S. Department of Education officials informed him last week that they were prepared to deny the state's waiver application, although the rejection has not yet been formally issued.

"I look forward to thoroughly examining the rationale the administration provides for its decision and will continue to explore every avenue for providing California's schools and students the relief they deserve," Torlakson said in a statement.

After missing two deadlines for waivers, California in June submitted a last-minute, customized exemption from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as No Child Left Behind is formally known. The state said even though it did not comply with the specifics of some waiver requirements, it was adhering to them in principle.

U.S. education officials did not return a request for comment Wednesday. The department has received a total of 47 waiver requests, and approvals have been issued to 33 states and the District of Columbia so far.


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