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Va. gets federal education waiver

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Virginia is getting relief from federal education requirements and sanctions.

The Virginia Department of Education says federal education officials have approved the state's request for a one-year extension of its Elementary and Secondary Education Act flexibility waiver.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven Staples extension allows Virginia schools to plan for the 2014-2015 school year with goals for narrowing achievement gaps and improving teaching and learning in under-performing schools.

The waiver requires the Virginia Board of Education to set annual objectives for narrowing achievement gaps in reading, mathematics and high school graduation rates. While the objectives apply to all schools, they are intended as progress benchmarks for schools that are performing well-below standards.

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