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68% of VA Schools meet New Education Benchmarks

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia education officials say 68% of the state's public schools met new annual benchmarks in reading, mathematics and graduation.

The state Department of Education on Wednesday released results of the objectives aimed at reducing proficiency gaps between low-performing and high-performing schools.

The annual measurable objectives replace the adequate yearly progress targets of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. In June, the state received a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education for certain provisions of the federal law. The numbers are based on the performance on state standardized tests.

Based on the new "ambitious but achievable" benchmarks, education officials are directing 485 schools to develop and implement improvement plans to raise achievement levels for certain races and other subgroups such as economically disadvantaged students and students with disabilities.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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