New Mexico freed from federal school rating law

Associated Press

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico is becoming the latest state to free itself from an unpopular federal system of rating public schools.

President Barack Obama's administration on Wednesday granted New Mexico the flexibility to implement its own school grading program rather than follow the mandates of the No Child Left Behind law.

State Education Secretary Hanna Skandera called it a "huge win for our state."

The federal school ratings have long been subject to criticism from educators who consider the law too rigid because it takes a pass-or-fail approach rather than measure the progress that students or schools may be making.

Nearly 90% of New Mexico's public schools failed last year to make "adequate yearly progress" under the federal law.