No Child Left Behind
A government attempt to fix American Education
Despite the vast majority of Americans that are educated though public school systems very successfully, many student of minority or low-income backgrounds have been “left behind.” The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), was the Bush administration’s attempt to help ensure that every public school student had a right to a solid education. A main goal was to have every school achieve higher scores on standardized testing each year and eventually by 2014 every student should score proficiently on their tests. Funding for NCLB was supposed to cover all the added costs that the schools would occur, but the funding ran out and schools are running out of resources to help their students.
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 was created to ensure that all student were given a fair opportunity to receive a good education from the public school systems. Before 2001, there was a large performance gap between students with a higher economic advantage and those students with less wealth. There was also a pattern of minority groups achieving less than white students in specific areas of school. “‘[W]e understand now that there are some basic tools that have to be put in place so that we give those children who are among the most disadvantaged in our country, who go to school in some of the poorer schools that they, in fact, get a very real opportunity in education,’ Rep. George Miller of California, the top Democrat on the House Education and Workforce Committee, told the NewsHour in 2001” (Nwazota, 2005). NLCB was the largest increase in the Federal government’s role in education since the Elementary and Secondary Act of 1965. What is No Child Left Behind?
George W. Bush and his administration proposed the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. It is a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (“No Child Left Behind,” 2004). NCLB is based on ideas of creating reasonable, measurable goals and holding schools accountable for accomplishing and meeting all of the set standards. Each state has a different set of standards for their schools. If the schools do not meet the basic skills standards their federal funding gets revoked. Since 2001, at the time NCLB was enacted federal funding for education has increased $12.2 billion by 2007 (U.S. Department of Education, 2006).
President George W. Bush proposed the Act late January 2001. Representatives John Boehner (R-OH), George Miller (D-CA), Senators Ted Kennedy (D-NA) and Judd Gregg (R-NH) all contributed ideas to the policies described in The Act (Amos, 2010). President Bush signed the Act into law on January 8th, 2002.
NCLB requires all schools to have standardized testing if they are receiving federal funding. Federal Funding is based on the results from the tests. The schools that do not achieve proficient levels on each test get marked as schools in need of assistance. Parents have the opportunity to have their children transfer to another school and schools have to offer after school or summer school programs. Goals of No Child Left Behind
Focusing on core subjects, such as math, English, history, and science is a main goal of the No Child Left behind act. Standardized testing is a way to measure students’ progress. “NCLB requires that states develop and implement math and reading standards by the 2005-2006 school year and then test children in grades 3 through 8 to make sure that students are on track to achieve 100 percent proficiency by 2014. Schools must also test at least once during grades 10 through 12” (Clapman, 2005). Each state has to create its own tests; the law does not allowed for federally controlled curriculum. Without one federal standard, there is a very wide variety of scores that come from the tests. Every state has its own assessment of proficiency which leads to misleading communication errors.
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