Essay The No Child Left Behind Act

Essay The No Child Left Behind Act

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Since 2001 No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation and technological advances have changed the face of education. Prior to NCLB there was little formal accountability and federal government control over education. Achievement tests were administered and results reported, but data from those reports had little to no impact on curriculum or instructional practices. Politicians are demanding evidence that children are learning. Arne Duncan, the current Secretary of Education, said “I am a believer in the power of data to drive our decisions. Data gives us the roadmap to reform. It tells us where we are, where we need to go, and who is most at risk.” (Mandinach, 2012). Schools exist to ensure that an increasing percentage of students meet state-specified proficiency standards. This is measured as making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) (Carlson, 2011). Standardized test scores are the benchmark currently used to prove that AYP has been met. These requirements and the federal funding attached to them, led to a new era in education where the results of individual students on standardized testing determined whether schools were considered to be successfully educating their students. This gave birth to what is now known as Data-Driven Decision Making (DDDM).
Data-Driven Decision Making is the collection, interpretation, and dissemination of data in a manner that is intended to inform and guide district and school improvement efforts. (Carlson, 2011) Educators can analyze the data to determine which students are not making adequate learning gains each year. On a larger scale, it also gives districts the ability to identify schools that are underperforming. Examining available student data allows weaknesses in studen...


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...ction. Education Week, 26(6), 32-33.
Slavin, R., Cheung, A., Holmes, G., Madden, N., & Chamberlain, A. (2013). Effects of a data-driven district reform model on state assessment outcomes. American Educational Research Journal, 50(2), 371-396. doi: 10.3102/0002831212466909
Stronge, J. H., Ward, T. J., & Grant, L. W. (2011). What makes good teachers good? A cross-case analysis of the connection between teacher effectiveness and student achievement. Journal of Teacher Education, 62(4), 339-355.
Tchoshanov, M. A. (2011). Relationship between teacher knowledge of concepts and connections, teaching practice, and student achievement in middle grades mathematics. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 76(2), 141-164.
Wayman, J. C. (2013). Leading data use: Pre-service courses for Principals and Superintendents. The Journal of Educational Research & Policy Studies, 13(2), 6-13.

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