- Associated Press - Monday, April 17, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) - States are beginning to outline new ways to evaluate their schools, mixing traditional measures like test scores with things like physical fitness and whether children feel safe in school.

The plans are required under a new federal education law that takes effect in the coming school year.

Nine states and the District of Columbia already have submitted plans, and seven others are completing their blueprints. The remaining states will submit their plans in September.

Other measures being considered touch on issues like chronic absenteeism, college readiness and whether the school is a welcoming place.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has the final say on the plans. She has said her goal is state and local flexibility in education and indicated that she might use the whole process to advance school choice.

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