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ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota has won another year's break from having to abide by proficiency goals and sanctions under the federal No Child Left Behind law.

The U.S. Department of Education renewed waivers Thursday for Minnesota and four other states that have implemented alternative achievement and improvement plans in place of a one-size-fits-all federal standard.

Minnesota first received a waiver in 2012 but needed to apply for renewal this year. The new waiver is good through the coming school year.

To get it, Minnesota had to put forward a plan showing it had ways to measure student progress, reach achievement benchmarks, reward high-performing schools and intervene in those where children struggle the most.

Minnesota's approach also includes a system to better spot risk factors that could harm graduation rates.

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