No Child Left Behind

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Defining the Problem: Unlike most categories measured on a global scale, the United States does not rank in the top ten countries when it comes to public education. This trend is not a new trend. The US has fluctuated up and down on its educational output depending on the President and if he made any attempt to reform the public education system. In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) in order to try and standardize schools across the country in hopes of closing the education gap between students in various states, social classes, and races. President Bush then signed the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) in 2002, which did not take away from the purpose of ESEA, but rather acted like a caveat to it. This new legislation was intended to improve the quality of public education by requiring schools to improve their performance. It was deemed that a schools performance would be based on the usage of standardized tests that were administered to children in certain grades. The tests focus primarily on the subjects of reading, writing, and mathematics. These areas were deemed to be related to economic success by government officials. The progress made by the schools would then determine the amount of funding allocated to the institution from the federal government. As the evidence of the NCLB’s unintended consequences merges, it seems increasingly clear that, despite its good intentions and admirable goals, NCLB as currently implemented is more likely to harm than to help most of the students who are the target of aspirations, and it is more likely to undermine (some would even say destroy) the nation’s public education system than to improve it (Meier, 2004). The federal governme... ... middle of paper ... ...tant, their needs and abilities are different. These differences show specifically why all students cannot be graded against one another. There are too many variables that would affect the outcome. Students should also have access to courses that do not particularly relate to s certain subject, but rather a life skill such as budgeting money or being educated on the credit score and its importance to the level of quality a person obtains later in life. It is no doubt that this nation has its own unique problems, but education should not be one of them if we are spending more per student than any other nation. The efforts of the government (both federal and state), the schools, the students, AND the parents need to be addressed in order to rectify not only the current situation but what is to come in terms of our nations academic state looking forward.

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