WASHINGTON - President Obama signed the "Every Student Succeeds Act" on Thursday, which will give states more control over school accountability and testing.

Locally, Sauk Rapids-Rice superintendent Dan Bittman says he sees the new law as an improvement, as it's expected to give more flexibility to local districts.

"All indications point to that there will be some additional flexiblity in terms of local control, both at the state and local district level. I think it's extremely important, every child is different, every community is different and every district and state is different."

The measure replaces the 2002 No Child Left Behind law, which often faced criticism due to a heavy reliance on standardized tests.

"I think No Child Left Behind had some really positive things to it in terms of accountability and intent, but also recognize that standardized tests are not the only measure in terms of student success and career and post-secondary readiness," Bittman says.

The law will continue federally mandated reading and math exams in grades three to eight and once in high school. The high stakes usually associtated with those tests for underperforming schools will be lessened.

States and local districts will be able to determine how to assess school and teacher performance.

Bittman says many details on the law now need to be worked out at the state and local level. The plans will go into effect for the 2017-2018 school year.

-This story was written with information from the Associated Press-