February 19, 2012
No Child Left Behind, also referred to as NCLB, is a funded Federal Government program that was enacted in 2001. The purpose of NCLB is to ensure that all children have equal access and opportunity at obtaining a high-quality education, while at the same time being proficient in state academic assessments. The NCLB Act contains five principles that schools must abide by in order to meet the standards for qualification. These principles include: a) strong accountability for results; b) expanded flexibility and control; c) teaching methodologies based on scientific research; d) more options for parents; and e) well-qualified teachers. These principles play an important role in ensuring that all children get the education they need. This paper will discuss the pros and cons of each one of these principles and explore how they affect diverse learners. Principles of the NCLB Act
The first principle, strong accountability for results, includes standards schools must follow to make sure each pupil meets the minimum standards set forth by NCLB. To satisfy the standards, students must meet adequate yearly progress (AYP) through testing against curricular objectives. When the test scores fall below minimum requirements, the school has two years to make changes and bring scores up. Testing begins on the third grade, and continues until the eighth grade. Many people, including myself, feel that this standard has pros and unintended cons. On the one hand, it’s a good thing to assess students’ performance against curricular objectives, and to have tests to measure that progress. We all deserve to have schools in which students are really learning. On the other hand, there is the unintended consequence of having the schools “teach to the test” (TTTT), which means that students might be in a situation where they learn what is tested, instead of having a more analytical learning. The second...