Mississippi will be one of seven states to receive another three years of flexibility from provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, or No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the U.S. Department of Education announced Thursday.

The federal government first granted Mississippi additional flexibility in 2012 when it allowed states to provide plans to close achievement gaps, increase equity, improve instruction quality and better student outcomes in exchange for meeting specific requirements of NCLB. President George W. Bush signed NCLB into law in 2002.

“Under NCLB, schools were given many ways to fail but very few opportunities to succeed. The law forced schools and districts into one-size-fits-all solutions, regardless of the individual needs and circumstances in those communities,” a press release from the U.S. Department of Education stated.

Since being granted the flexibility, Mississippi has developed an online system that enables school districts to differentiate interventions for its lowest-performing schools and implemented the Mississippi Statewide Teacher Appraisal Rubric, a teacher evaluation tool.

The department cited these initiatives as reasons Mississippi deserves more time under the waiver.

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