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FYI: The U.S. Department of Education released last week its latest draft of the rules governing the accountability processes required by the No Child Left Behind Act. In two documents, one a set of proposed rules and another a “guidance” on how to implement them, the feds clarified an ongoing debate about how to account for students with special needs–both those with learning disabilities and those with limited English skills–when evaluating a school or district’s performance. The rules would allow any number of students to take alternative exams. However, the rules would allow only one percent of students to be exempt from achievement standards for their grade-level, regardless of what sort of exam they measure those standards with. States now have 90 days to comment on the rules before the feds move forward with them. [3/28/03]