Virginia public school benchmarks reviewed

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia is getting a better idea of how its public school students fared on new annual benchmarks.

The state Department of Education on Wednesday is set to release results of the annual measurable objectives in reading and mathematics.

The objectives replace the adequate yearly progress targets of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. In June, the state received a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education for certain provisions of the federal law.

Education officials say the new "ambitious but achievable" benchmarks are aimed at reducing proficiency gaps between low-performing and high-performing schools around the state.

Virginia failed to meet federal benchmarks in 2010-11 because black, Hispanic, economically disadvantaged students and students with disabilities failed to meet targets in reading and math performance.