No Child Left Behind Act Overview

Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) was introduced by the U.S. Congress in December 2001. In spite of the benefits and advantages expected by children, schools, and the local educational institutions, NCLB becomes a real problem for modern society and children, lower educational achievements and progress of students. The first proposal of NCLB was introduced by President Bush in 2001. According to this proposal, the federal programs should improve the primary and secondary education facilities and provide them with financial resources and new standards of accountability. A special focus was made on the ESEA and ESEA act of 1965.The policy proposals are: “Every Child Performing at or Above Grade Level by 2014; promotion of high academic standards, flexibility in innovations and performance” (Herszenhorn A 30). The aim of these policy measures is to improve national education and provide students with equal opportunities in spite of their race, class location, or geographical location. The aims and goals of this Act, narrow performance based on accountability become the main threat for schools and educational establishments.

The two main issues of the Act are: ” standards-based education reform” and accountability of education. The main limitation of this act is that test-based accountability systems and the accountability provisions in the Act are ineffective and do not reflect the real needs and educational goals of students. In his article, T. Rueter questions: “Who says that a standardized test is the only way to measure student achievement? What about portfolios, exhibitions, essays, student-initiated projects, and teacher evaluations? (2005). Defined in this way, the problem of “low expectations” suggests the solution presumably built into the provisions of NCLB: higher expectations. Though, expectations” suggests the solution most likely built into the provisions of expectations” suggests the solution most likely built into the provisions of expectations” suggests the solution presumably built into the provisions of NCLB: requires not higher expectations—which could not be legislated—but documented success, across the board and against a set of outside standards.

Expecting every child to succeed is one subject; requiring that success is another. Supporters regard expectations” suggests the solution presumably built into the provisions of expectations” suggests the result presumably built into the provisions of expectations” suggests the solution presumably built into the provisions of NCLB: as a strategic goal in the right direction: a set of standards that will drive broad gains in student achievement and hold states and schools properly accountable for student progress (Gross, 2003), A number of critics see it essentially as an insincere set of requirements, framed in expectations, that will force state educational institutions to fail on a scale large enough to rationalize shifting financial support from the federal government to private schools—that is, as a political effort to change public education out of existence (Herszenhorn 2001).

The established standards threaten rural schools and the poor districts around the country. School leaders in rural settings pointed out that teachers in small schools often teach multiple subjects: history, geography, and the American state, for instance, or biology, chemistry, and physics. Requiring these rural teachers to improve their knowledge in every subject they teach, which normally means having a separate college degree in each subject, could force hundreds of teachers either to go back to school or, more likely, to move to more populated regions or cities where they can teach a single subject (Tompkins 2003). Apart from the need to find and hire new teachers with multiple certifications, rural schools cannot compete with more charitably funded urban and suburban districts to attract good educators. The average educator in a rural area makes only 86 % for every dollar earned by his colleague in urban and suburban schools. Under the Act, hard-to-staff schools will become harder to staff, as educators in schools “needing improvement” look to move to schools in prosperous communities that can afford to pay more for their job. In this case, the real losers then will be the children left behind in rural schools without the financial means to attract good teachers.

The studies conducted during the 2004-2005 years, prove that standardized tests are ineffective as they show false and inadequate results of skills and knowledge possessed by students (Rueter, 2005). It was found that millions of students in 20 states were affected by errors in scoring standardized proficiency tests. The standards and accountability problem affect those people who set the standards of accountability and those children who fail to meet them. The problem is that “annual high-stakes testing impedes learning. It produces rote memorization and a “drill and grill” curriculum. Between pre-testing and the actual testing, students may be involved in 3 to 4 weeks of test-related activities distinct from normal instruction” (Rueter 2005). Critics admit that the Act focuses just on the relationship between schools and taxpayers and all too often takes as the standard of accountability the mere function of reporting out test scores.

In sum, NCLB is ineffective and even dangerous for modern education and students. It deprives many low-class students of a chance to compete with middle and upper-class students. Narrow performance based on accountability, testing, and restricted curriculum are the main threats created by two provisions of NCLB. Addressing this problem requires a public consciousness of responsibility to students, including and especially those harmed by systems of “accountability” In unequal numbers, the victims are poor children from rural regions who tend to start school far behind their wealthier coevals for a host of reasons and in this way are set up to fail before they even start to go to school.

Works Cited

Gross, J. Free tutoring reaches only fraction of students. The New York Times. 2003, Web.

Herszenhorn, D. M. Rich states, poor cities and mighty suburbs. The New York Times, 2001, p. A39.

Rueter, T. “Disastrous” No Child Left Behind Act Should be Repealed. 2005. Web.

Tompkins, R. B. Leaving rural children behind. Education Week, 22 (2003), p. 44.

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