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Governor Dayton announces Minnesota will apply for waiver from No Child Left Behind

August 08, 2011

St. Paul, MN – Today, Governor Mark Dayton announced that Minnesota will apply for the recently announced federal waiver from the current No Child Left Behind law, and released the following statement:

“Any education reform in Minnesota must begin and end with what is best for our children.  The decade old federal law, known as No Child Left Behind, has failed to meet that standard.  When it was enacted in 2001, nine of the ten members of the Minnesota Congressional delegation, including all three Republicans and myself, voted against it.  Unfortunately, we were right.  NCLB has imposed rigid testing requirements, many of which have harmed, not improved, the quality of students’ learning experiences.  It has labeled many schools wrongly, by applying invalid statistical measures.

“We can and must do better for our children.  That is why today I have approved Minnesota Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius’ request to apply for the recently announced federal waiver, exempting schools temporarily from the flawed testing requirements and punitive sanctions of the current No Child Left Behind law.  

“Such a waiver would allow Minnesota educators to focus on what is working in their schools.  It would provide school boards, administrators, teachers, and parents with the flexibility they need to implement the reforms the Legislature and I enacted in the recent session.”