Special Education and the Principles of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) XXXXX
The five core principles of NCLB are strong accountability for results, expanded flexibility and control, methods based on scientific research, expanded options for parents, and highly qualified teachers. Each of them might affect diverse learners in both positive and negative ways.
The No Child Left behind Act requires strong accountability for results by requiring that schools meet an adequate yearly progress (AYP) or minimum standards. States must develop clearly defined goals and then assess individual students to see if schools are meeting these goals. (The NCLB allows school districts and states to exempt 1% of students from the usual assessments. This 1% represents about 9% of those with disabilities and includes those with the most severe disabilities.) This positively affects diverse learners because it allows the NCLB to monitor how effectively the school districts teachers and methods are working.
The NCLB act also allows for expanded flexibility and local control. By understanding that local officials know the needs of neighboring schools better than federal administrators and allowing them to use 50% of federal funding without needing prior approval, the NCLB act positively affects diverse learners again. This is a positive thing because by not requiring prior approval, the funds can reach the places they are needed most very quickly. The NCLB act tries to positively affect diverse learners by using teaching methods based on scientific research and highly qualified teachers. Federal support is targeted only to programs that have a proven track record of success and has demonstrated effectiveness through scientific research. Highly qualified teachers must have a college degree, full state certification, and demonstrate competency in the area(s) they teach by passing subject specific, state administered tests.
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