Is the No Child Left Behind Act holding back the students in America from reaching their top potential and from going above and beyond? Or is it helping the less fortunate schools to have more success?
If you didn’t previously know, NCLB stands for No Child Left Behind.
NCLB is a law that was passed thathas greatly affected the education system of grades k-12. both teachers and students have been effected by this law being passes. It has been put into effect to try and give every student an equal opportunity to the same education. It has had a positive impact on some and a more negative impact on others.
NCLB has been designed into 4 main parts that will affect everyone around the world regarding education. The 4 points are stronger accountability for results, more freedom for states and communities, proven education methods, and more choices for parents. We will talk about these more later on in the presentation.
NCLB is a federal law that was passed in 2001 by President George W. Bush. It has been put in place to set certain standards for schools across the U.S. so that all students will meet the same standards. NCLB become a very controversial topic because not all schools, teachers, parents and students agree with the standards they are to follow.
It makes is so primary and secondary schools are required to meet higher standards. NCLB requires all students, including special education students and students from disadvantaged backgrounds to reach the same set of state standards set in reading and math.
Back to the 4 main points I mentioned before. The first one is stronger accountability for results. This requires all states and districts to send out an annual report card to the community and to the parents of the students about the progress that that specific school has made. If a school does not make progress then they are required to have free after school assistance, or tutoring sessions and if this does not help the schools progress then drastic measures will be taken regarding how the school is ran. The second main point is more freedom for states and communities. This allowed the school districts to have flexibility with the way the spend their federal education funds. They can use it to increase teachers pay, hold training and professional development meeting for their staff and hire new teachers. The third point is to have proven education methods. Research shows that there are certain ways to teach. They want to make sure that teachers are using the teaching methods, and educational practices that have been proven to work and will increase student learning and achievement. The last point is more choices for parents. This allows partnts to have the option to move their child to another school if the school they currently attend has not met standards for at least 2 consecutive years. Partents are also entitled to change their child school if they are a victim of a violent crime.
An interview was done with 15 staff members K-12 and 37 middle school students. There were three common answers among the students. They were fairness to subgroups, student effort and self-determination, and apprehensions about changing schools. The issues that the teachers, special educators and administrators brought up were concerns about fairness to students with disabilities and diverse learning needs, conflicts between state and federal requirements, and negative effects on teaching, learning and allocation of resources.
A positive effect that has come from NCLB is that for the students who may be in a less fortunate school districts are able to get the same education that everyone else is getting. It is also making students work harder because they are required to meet certain standards. Another positive is that is helping the students with special needs because their education is being valued just as much as the other students and they are expected to meet goals too. All of the changes that have evolved from NCLB have made a positive effort to close the achievement gap.
However there are some negative points. The first being that teachers are not having to follow guidelines as to what they are teaching, this is causing some teachers to have to dumb down their lessons and they aren’t able to teach what they want to their class. This is also bad for the students because if the teachers are limited to what they want to teach that means that the students are being limited to the information that they are learning. Also with the students have to meet certain requirements it is causing some students to do less work, those that were over achieving and excelling in school are now being held accountable for less in the classroom.
President Obama has set aside 3.5 billion dollars for education, he has put a large amount of money on the table for the democrats and the republicans to continue working together on the changes that need to be made. Both the democrats and the republicans are in agreement that NCLB has seen great improvements but there needs to be some changes.
One of them being setting a high bar and high standards. Some states had to dumb down their standards to meet the standards required by NCLB and that doesn’t help anyone. Not the students, the families or the economy. Another change would be to give rewards where they are deserved. With NCLB there are many ways to fail so they want to reward where good hard work is shown and they want to learn from it and try to keep it going. The last change would be to have states and districts reach for the high bar and the high standards that are set but not limit them to that. They want to give the schools more freedom in how they reach the top and meet those standards.
There are many different points of view concerning the NCLB law that passed. Overall I believe that it has shown some positive impacts across the United States but I also believe that all of the up and coming changes are for the better. It will help to single out the negative points of view until soon there are none to fix. NCLB has very good intentions there is room for improvement which will hopefully happen soon.
Is the NCLB Act restraining America from going above and beyond?
Clip Art Positives: Better education for all Students working harder Closing the achievement gap
Negatives: Teachers have to dumb down lessons Don’t get to teach what they want Have to follow certain guidelines Students aren’t able to go above and beyond on their own Teachers are limited to what they can teach which causes students to be limited to what they are learning. Clip Art
What is being done to address the issue? President Obama's support Increased budget Looking for change
High bar/high standards Reward the hard work and growth Be more flexible with how states and districts get to the high bar. Changes to be made
Many different points of view Very controversial Good changes in motion Conclusion
Works Cited: Websites & Articles Behrent, Megan. "Reclaiming Our Freedom to Teach: Education Reform in the Obama Era." Harvard Educational Review. 79.2 (2009): 240-246. Harriman, Nancy E. "Perceptions of Students and Educators on the Impact of No Child Left Behind: Some Will and Some Won't." Rural Special Education Quarterly. 24.1 (Winter 2005): 64-9. Cornish, Audie. "NPR." NPR.org. National Public Radio, 02/06/2010. Web. 24 Mar 2010. <http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=123439504&ft=1&f=1013>. Lewis, Beth. "NCLB- No Child Left Behind." About.com:Elementary Education. About.com, n.d. Web. 24 Mar 2010. <http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=123439504&ft=1&f=1013>.
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