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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The South Carolina Board of Education has approved an evaluation system that judges teachers partly by their students' performance.

The board voted 9-5 this week to begin implementing Superintendent Mick Zais' educator evaluation system statewide next school year. Half of a teacher's evaluation will be based on classroom observations, while 30 percent will be based on how much progress students make in their classroom.

Dozens of schools piloted the system over the past school year. The evaluations are not linked to teachers' salaries.

Evaluating educators based on performance is a required part of the state's exemption from the all-or-nothing provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind law. South Carolina is among states exempted from the requirement that every student score proficient on state-standardized math and reading tests by 2014.

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