Analysis Of The No Child Left Behind

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When it first passed, the No Child Left Behind act of 2001 was widely respected as a bipartisan victory. When signing the bill President George Bush announced to the country “You’re seeing government at its best, we figured out how to put our parties aside and focus on what’s right for the American children”. Since being elected into office, Bush made it well known that education was going to be a primary goal was to improve education and pledged that his focus would be on “making sure every child is educated” and that “no child will be left behind—no one single child”. When Bush made this announcement surely there was no single person who disagreed with this sentiment. The No Child Left Behind bill is based on many admirable ideals. After all, who wouldn’t want an education system where children are being taught in the classrooms of well-prepared teachers and where all students are proficient? NCLB intends to raise proficiency by mandating that all subgroups reach a passing test score with a goal of “100 percent achievement” by the year 2014. One major breakthrough of NCLB is that it is flagging differences in student performance by race and class as well and asserting that all students must additionally be taught by qualified teachers. Surely helping high poverty areas and low scoring students would be a step in the right direction for education in America. It is clear that bringing the achievement gap into the spotlight was a great victory for the law. The goals of the bill were very admirable; unfortunately, they are being lost in the act’s problematic details. It is a common belief among the country’s school officials and citizens that all children can and should learn; however, a 100 percent success is simply an unattainabl... ... middle of paper ... ...r score. One Florida superintendent noted: “when low-performing child walks into a classroom, instead of being seen as a challenge, or an opportunity for improvement, for the first time since I’ve been in education, teachers are seeing [that child] as a liability”. States themselves are lowering their standards for passing the mandated standardized tests. The logic is simple: the lower the standards, the more students who will meet them. States with higher proficiency standards are actually more likely to be punished under the bill. Some states are defining their proficiency marks as far below the national benchmarks. NCLB has the opposite effects than it intended; the law is creating a race to the bottom for states rather than encouraging them to strive to increase actual learning. The effects of the law hit hard by even directly affecting individual classrooms.

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