No Child Left Behind Thesis

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No Child Left Behind 1


The Impact of the No Child Left Behind Act on the K-8 Setting

Kara Robertson

A Senior Thesis submitted in partial fulfillment

of the requirements for graduation

in the Honors Program

Liberty University

Fall 2009

No Child Left Behind 2

Acceptance of Senior Honors Thesis

This Senior Honors Thesis is accepted in partial

fulfillment of the requirements for graduation from the

Honors Program of Liberty University.


Shanté Moore-Austin, Ph.D.

Thesis Chair


Janice DeLong, M.Ed.

Committee Member


Connie McDonald, Ph.D.

Committee Member


James Nutter, D.A.

Honors Director



No Child Left Behind 3


The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), which was implemented in 2002, is changing the classroom for teachers and students. The legislation is widely discussed across the nation and people are deciding whether or not this change is suitable for education. The No Child Left Behind Act is affecting the core subjects in the classroom. After evaluating literature on the subject, it is obvious that there are two clear sides to this legislation. There are also actions that can be taken by teachers within the classroom to best utilize NCLB. As a future educator, it is important to evaluate NCLB and all it entails as it places a large amount of pressure on teachers and students across America. The purpose of this thesis is to evaluate NCLB and its effect on the K-8 classroom setting specifically in regards to the core subject areas.

No Child Left Behind 4

The Impact of the No Child Left Behind Act on the K-8 Setting


Many individuals can recall the K-8 setting as an avenue for teachers to teach with creativity and as an avenue where one’s love for the children could encompass the learning environment and be sufficient to enable students to progress from one grade to the next. Each year classrooms have evolved into arenas of standardized tests, new modes of technology, and state requirements. After successfully getting past the Y2K scare of a technological meltdown to society, two years later there was a major event that scared and disturbed many educators and that has changed education as we know it. One author of the New York Times explains that on January 8, 2002, President Bush signed an important document that would change the face of education. This legislation was known as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The No Child Left Behind Act is an attempt by the American government to have all children arrive at equal proficiency levels by 2014. Each year students in third through eighth grade are being tested in the core subjects of mathematics and reading. The individual state is required to provide standardized tests to regularly measure students’ improvement (No Child Left Behind Act, 2007).

Schools are placed on different levels according to the percentage of students passing the standardized tests given in the core subject areas. Schools that do not have a high percentage of students passing the examinations are put on probationary status. These schools are forced to undergo reviews by the state over the next year and if they do not improve they risk losing their accreditation. Parents are notified and the school works diligently over the next year to make an improvement in the school and be labeled as having adequate yearly progress (AYP). According to an article in Intervention in School

No Child Left Behind 5

& Clinic, schools may reach the point where they have to be closed and students relocated. Some schools provide tutoring to increase their students’ scores fearing that the state will takeover or shut down the school completely (Simpson, LaCava, & Graner, 2004). In order to achieve AYP schools may...
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