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McDonnell touts education reforms in final speech

Wednesday - 1/8/2014, 8:40pm  ET

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Gov. Bob McDonnell touted his hotly debated public education reforms in his final State of the Commonwealth speech.

McDonnell said Wednesday night that he took a "tough love, zero tolerance" approach in creating a state board to take over chronically underperforming schools, which he said is the civil rights issue of our day. He also said his A-to-F grading system for schools will give parents an honest view of how their kids' schools are performing.

Education groups opposed both bills, and the one allowing the state to take over failing schools has been challenged in court.

McDonnell also said the percentage of education money going into the classroom increased from 61 percent to 64 percent over his four years. He said graduation rates are up and dropout rates are down.

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