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Education loophole leaves minority, special needs children behind

By AP/KWMU

Kansas City, Mo. – An Associated Press analysis has found Missouri schools are not counting more than 24,000 students' scores from standardized tests.

The federal No Child Left Behind law requires schools to show that all students improve in math and reading every year.

Nationwide, almost 2 million students' scores are getting left out. And minorities are the most likely not to be counted when schools report progress by racial group.

Missouri officials are using a loophole that lets schools avoid separately reporting the scores of racial groups that have fewer than 30 students in each grade.

State deputy education commissioner Bert Schulte says that keeps schools from getting punished for the performance of a statistically small group.

He says the scores still get counted overall, and teachers use the data to help students.

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