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NC Seeks Education Flexibility From White House

North Carolina was among 26 states Wednesday applying for freedom from key provisions of the controversial federal education law known as No Child Left Behind. State Superintendent June Atkinson says the waiver will give North Carolina the ability to tailor targets for student groups rather than the one-size-fits all approach required by the federal government. Atkinson says that will mean more specialized help for students with disabilities and delays or English as a Second Language. It will also mean the state can offer more help to districts that need it most. "Under No Child Left Behind, if a school district missed one target versus another school that missed 10 targets, we were obligated as a state to treat both of those schools alike," says Atkinson. "This waiver will allow us to differentiate the way we help school districts." Eleven states have already been granted flexibility from what the White House calls "burdensome federal mandates." These waivers are a stopgap measure until Congress updates the No Child Left Behind law which has been up for renewal since 2007. A decision on North Carolina's waiver application is expected later this spring.