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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is calling on Congress to rewrite the nation’s governing education law in time for a new school year next fall. It’s an ambitious timeline but one administration official says it is necessary to start closing the achievement gap between American students and their counterparts in China and elsewhere.

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White House officials say Obama will lay out the goal in a speech Monday at a middle school in Arlington, Va., where communications and technology are a focus – areas Obama views as critical in a global economy.

Obama administration officials have vowed since taking office to rewrite George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind law, now seen by members of both parties as overly prescriptive. But the focus on Capitol Hill is budget cuts and the deficit.

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