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Regional School Officials Will Weigh 'No Child Left Behind' Waiver

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D.C. Public Schools decided to close all schools early this morning in order to allow for a comprehensive structural inspection after Tuesday's 5.8 magnitude earthquake centered in Virginia.
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D.C. Public Schools decided to close all schools early this morning in order to allow for a comprehensive structural inspection after Tuesday's 5.8 magnitude earthquake centered in Virginia.

School officials in the region are applauding a decision by the U.S. Department of Education to relax some requirements of the No Child Left Behind law.

Local school officials say the controversial law sets an impossible goal -- that all students to perform at grade level by 2014.

Education department officials say states that can show they have plans in place to improve students' skills can apply for exemptions from some provisions of the laws. Officials in Virginia and Maryland say they are likely to apply; those in the District say they're still studying the proposal.

Last year, 39 percent of schools in Virginia failed to meet the law's requirements. In Maryland, 44 percent of elementary and middle schools are failing, and 87 percent of D.C.'s charter and traditional public schools do not meet the requirements.

Virginia is rolling out more rigorous state math tests this year. And Maryland and the District are also working to strengthen academic standards, as well as stricter teacher evaluations.

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