Special Education and the No Child Left Behind Act

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Special Education And The No Child Left Behind Act

On January 8, 2002 President Bush signed into law the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. The purpose of the act is to insure all children have a fair and equal opportunity to obtain a high-quality education. In regard to special education students, the plan is to narrow the gap that currently exists in many schools between the advantaged and disadvantaged students. However, NCLB may be butting heads with another federal act, the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA). This disabilities law mandates the special education students with an IEP (Individual Education Plan) are able to proceed at their own pace. NCLB starts a new era on how our children are educated, however, this one-size-fits-all law doesn’t take into consideration special education students, and it’s purposely setting up children to fail, by pitting one group of disadvantaged student against another. Elements of NCLB

Several critical elements in No Child Left Behind ensure that schools are held accountable for educational results so that the best education possible is provided to each and every student. The three most critical elements to understand are: academic content standards, academic achievement standards, and assessments. These provide the foundation for an accountability system that ensures that students with disabilities reach high standards (Brown, 2002). Academic content standards (what students should learn) and academic achievement standards (how well they should learn) in reading and mathematics form the foundation of the No Child Left Behind accountability system. These standards define what all children should know and be able to do to be considered “proficient.” Each state (usually with the help of parents, educators, businesses, and other community members) has defined what it sees as important knowledge and skills for students to achieve at specific grade levels. State...
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