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NC judge questions whether new student learning standard meets constitutional requirement

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RALEIGH, North Carolina — A top North Carolina school official says a change that describes children as on-track in their learning progress though they still need help is part of setting higher academic expectations.

Superior Court Judge Howard Manning Jr. held a hearing Wednesday to look into whether state education officials are obeying their constitutional obligation to give every North Carolina child the opportunity to have a sound, basic education.

Manning wanted to hear about a decision last March by the State Board of Education changing the definition of who is learning at grade level. The judge worried the change waters down requirements.

Manning appeared less suspicious after Deputy State Superintendent Rebecca Garland said the changed categories better describe student progress now that courses have been made much more difficult.

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