Half of US Public Schools Fail Federal Standards

It's the largest failure rate since the much criticized No Child Left Behind law took effect.

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A report released by the Center on Education Policy details how half of all U.S. public schools fail to meet federal standards. According to the report, more than 43,000 schools -- 48 percent -- did not make "adequate yearly progress." The percentage, which is the highest since the controversial No Child Left Behind law took effect, reflects a disparity in failure rates, from a low 11 percent in Wisconsin to a staggering 89 percent in Florida.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan predicted earlier this year that the failure rate would be 82 percent. While the actual percentage came way below that, he says there is still a lot of work to do and blamed a Bush-era law for the numbers.

"Whether it's 50 percent, 80 percent or 100 percent of schools being incorrectly labeled as failing, one thing is clear: No Child Left Behind is broken," Duncan said in a statement Wednesday. "That's why we're moving forward with giving states flexibility from the law in exchange for reforms that protect children and drive student success."

The president of the Center on Education Policy Jack Jennings said it's time the law received a "rewrite." "No Child Left Behind is defective," Jennings told the Associated Press. "It needs to be changed. If Congress can't do it, then the administration is right to move ahead with waivers."

Read more at the Washington Post.

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Sept. 19 2014 8:34 AM