Education Department tries to ease testing worries

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Education Secretary Arne Duncan says states can apply for extra time before they use student test scores to judge teachers' performance.

Duncan's decision is an acknowledgement of the concerns by teachers' unions and others that it's too early to make teacher personnel decisions based on how well students do on new assessments developed under the Common Core standards.

Those standards will be used in much of the country this school year.

Duncan's announcement affects the more than 40 states and the District of Columbia that have a waiver around stringent parts of the No Left Behind Law.

One condition the Obama administration put on getting a waiver was the development of a meaningful teacher evaluation system.

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