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By WSIL Manager

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois State Board of Education chairman Gery Chico says the state will request a waiver from federal No Child Left Behind standards.

Chico said today that Illinois needs "a realistic, measurable accountability system" instead of "unattainable" goals from Washington.

The announcement was made the same day state officials said Illinois is falling further behind in meeting the increasingly strict performance targets set by the No Child Left Behind law.

According to this year's State Report Card, more than 2,500 schools failed to meet the state performance target set by the federal law.

That's up from fewer than 2,000 schools last year.

Earlier this year the U.S. Department of Education said it would consider granting waivers if states agree to certain reforms.

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