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New Bill Offers Flexibility, Demands Rigor

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Even though NCLB is stalled in the House and Senate, its supporters aren't giving up.

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., introduced a bill yesterday that would make a deal with up to 12 states. In exchange for increasing the rigor of their standards, they could bypass many of NCLB's prescriptions. The states' standards would have to be aligned with the states' definition of college readiness or international or national benchmarks. But states would get complete control over how to determine whether schools are making AYP and how they will fix the schools that don't reach their achievement goals.

"In other words, instead of saying: 'Do it exactly this way' to the states," Sen. Alexander said when introducing the bill yesterday, "the federal government would be saying: 'Give us results, and we will give you more flexibility.' "

It's early, so it's hard to know how much support this bill will get. On paper, it looks like it answers criticisms that NCLB is too prescriptive. But it also keep NCLB's focus on improving student achievement.

Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings is endorsing it. "This legislation is a reasonable and responsible step forward as Congress moves toward reauthorizing No Child Left Behind," she says in this statement.

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Which definition do you think they are using?

Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) -

1. strictness, severity, or harshness, as in dealing with people.
2. the full or extreme severity of laws, rules, etc.
3. severity of living conditions; hardship; austerity: the rigor of wartime existence.
4. a severe or harsh act, circumstance, etc.
5. scrupulous or inflexible accuracy or adherence: the logical rigor of mathematics.
6. severity of weather or climate or an instance of this: the rigors of winter.
7. Pathology. a sudden coldness, as that preceding certain fevers; chill.
8. Physiology. a state of rigidity in muscle tissues during which they are unable to respond to stimuli due to the coagulation of muscle protein.
9. Obsolete. stiffness or rigidity.

American Heritage Dictionary

1. Strictness or severity, as in temperament, action, or judgment.
2. A harsh or trying circumstance; hardship. See Synonyms at difficulty.
3. A harsh or cruel act.
4. Medicine Shivering or trembling, as caused by a chill.
5. Physiology A state of rigidity in living tissues or organs that prevents response to stimuli.
6. Obsolete Stiffness or rigidity.

WordNet -

1. something hard to endure; "the asperity of northern winters" [syn: asperity]
2. the quality of being valid and rigorous [syn: cogency]
3. excessive sternness; "severity of character"; "the harshness of his punishment was inhuman"; "the rigors of boot camp"

American Heritage Stedman's Medical Dictionary

1. See rigidity.
2. Shivering or trembling, as caused by a chill.
3. A state of rigidity in living tissues or organs that prevents response to stimuli.

Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary
Function: noun

1 a : CHILL 1 b : a tremor caused by a chill
2 a : rigidity or torpor of organs or tissue that prevents response to stimuli b : RIGOR MORTIS

I prefer the last...

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