RICHMOND (AP) -- Virginia education officials are asking the U.S. Department of Education to exempt the state from certain requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

The Board of Education on Thursday approved the state's plan, which will be submitted to the federal agency for review. If approved, Virginia would be able to merge federal and state public school accountability systems into one system, starting in the upcoming school year.

Virginia's schools currently receive two annual accountability ratings: a state accreditation rating and federal 'adequate yearly progress' requirement that uses 29 benchmarks.

Under the application, the state proposes to do away with the federal measures and continue receiving annual state accreditation ratings based on overall achievement in English, mathematics, science and history.

AP-WF-02-23-12 2213GMT

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