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Research Paper

  1. 1. Ross 1Cole RossMs. TilleryBritish Literature28 October 2011 Educational Standards: No Child Left Behind In the United States of America, each of the fifty states has different educationalstandards for school districts and the schools within them. The government also has certainstandards set for schools within the United States. Educational standards set standards for suchthings as testing, curriculumand other important factors within the school districts. NationalStandards impact school districts because of the strictness of the standards on testing,curriculum, and federal legislation. Another issue within education is when education andreligion meet, many people are troubled when this issue arises. Many school districts thrivethrough these standards, but there are also many school districts that are failing because of thesestandards. All school districts within the United States of America have some sort of Standardizedtesting. The government has very strict rules for these types of test and there are many differentopinions of how this type of testing affects students and their ability to learn. In EducationalStandards, it says that high stakes standardized testing harms students and education (Hudson47). “Standardized tests are not the best way to test children is not the best to assess studentperformance. Standardized tests generally do not measure creativity and deep learning… [They]are generally high-pressure multiple choice exams on which a student must circle one “rightanswer”” (Hudson 49). Dale D. Johnson once said, “Teachers know their students better than anysingle test can…” Standardized testing can also be discriminating against students that know
  2. 2. Ross 2English as their second language, these students have to be given a chance for an education, andthey cannot be penalized by one standardized test (Hudson 55). On the other hand, some peoplethink that standardized testing is useful and student’s ability should be graded by singlestandardized test. Some say that this type of standard testing has very serious limitations becausethey are used for major changes. In Standardized Testing, Stephen G. Sireci talks about howstandardized testing is used for such things as grade promotions, special programs, and even highschool graduation. Standardized testing is become a way to form and shape the curriculum ofschools. (Sireci 17) Another disadvantage of standardized testing, teachers cram and cramtheirstudents with information that they need to know for these test and there is no time for otheractivities in or outside of the classroom. If students do badly on a standardized test, teachers canlose their job or have severe consequences. School districts can also suffer consequences ifmajority of students do bad. It seems like every few years, curriculum is changing because of some new standard orsome study that shows that students did badly in a certain subject area or section of another area.Curriculum tells the teachers what they have to teach, how they have to teach it, and how theyshould do it. It also tells students what they will learn. Curriculum can change because ofstandardized testing but it can also change if a study shows that the students are not learning itthe way they need to learn it. Even though curriculum is a very important thing, many peoplethink that teachers should be given the basic information that students need to learn, they thinkthat the teachers should be able to teach it how they think the students will learn it best and evena fun way so that the students will remember it. Many think that this is the way that studentslearn and that their ability should not be graded by standardized test set by the government buthow well they did in a class.
  3. 3. Ross 3 The Federal Government has such things set in place called federal legislatives. Theselegislatives set the basis of the curriculum and the standards and rules of the curriculum. Thecurrent federal legislative being used in Georgia and most of the nation, and the most wellknown legislation, is called No Child Left Behind, or NCLB. The No Child Left Behind Act hasbecome a national education reform controversy (Fiasanick 7). According to Has No Child LeftBehind Been Good for Education?, No Child Left Behind is a revision of the Elementary andSecondary Education Act, this act provided aid to large population but low-income schools.There are many opinions about No Child Left Behind; many think it is adequately fundedwhereas others think that it is either overfunded or underfunded. Also, many opinions are as ifthe achievement gap is either being closed or widened. Diane Ravitch, former Secretary forSchools, was originally a supporter of the No Child Left Behind Act (Forbes Magazine). Now,she sees that it needs improvement; she says that we should first start with a sense of modestyand scale (Forbes Magazine). Diane Ravitch said, “If you want to attack the root cause of lowacademic performance, think poverty. Test scores are tightly correlated with family income,which is correlated with health and well-being.” George Bush signed the No Child Left Behind Act into a federal legislation in 2001,when he signed this he talked about how it would benefit the schools and the children withinthem ( “Bush, George W.”). When this was signed, it brought significant changes to the publiceducation system. Under this law, school systems were mandated to give their students yearlytest on reading and mathematics (“No Child Left Behind (NCLB)”). Under the No Child LeftBehind, a measurement system called AYP or Adequate Yearly Progress would be used to showthe progress of schools and school systems (“No Child Left Behind (NCLB)”). If a school or aschool system does not meet or exceed Adequate Yearly Progress, also known as AYP, it does
  4. 4. Ross 4not make that particular school or the school system look like they are making any progress andchanges could possibly be made so that the following year that particular school or schoolsystem will meet the Adequate Yearly Progress requirements. No Child Left Behind is far from perfect, and the government knows that. Throughoutyears, this legislation is tweaked to better help most public education students. In 2006, No ChildLeft Behind was tweaked because of improvements that were needed; the government felt thatthe students needed more help in some areas and less in other (“Education”). Also in 2006, theDepartment of Education reported higher test scores but critics still reported serious flaws withinthe legislation. Some flaws that critics pointed out was that there was not enough money flowingin, more time was being spent on reading and math and there was little time spent on the othersubjects (“No Child Left Behind- A Progress Report. Teachers also lost instruction time becausethey spent time to teach on the test, there was less time spent on the curriculum that would be onother test (“No Child Left Behind- A Progress Report. One major flaw that was pointed out wasthat all students were held to the same achievement level no matter their skill or ability, label,status, or home environment (“No Child Left Behind- A Progress Report”). Some argue that thislegislation is not beneficial to some students because they are held to the same achievementstatus to people below their skill or above their skill. On a radio show called “Tell Me More,” there was a group of educators that wereinterviewed and asked questions on their personal opinions of how No Child Left Behind isaffecting children and school districts and they were also asked to give their opinions on how thefederal legislation could be changed to help all students instead of only benefiting a few. In thisinterview were two previous educators and an administrator. This particular interview also hasthe opinions of a politician. According to Mr. Hoof, one of the interviewees, they acknowledge
  5. 5. Ross 5the schools that can raise their test scores under pressure but the government questions whetheror not that all schools should be raising their test scores(“Educators Discuss Classroom LifePost-NCLB"). Kate Grossman, another one of the interviewees, said that No Child Left Behindwas hated and poorly looked upon when it started in Illinois (“Educators Discuss Classroom LifePost-NCLB"). One main reason that the NCLB is widely disliked is because of testing. All in all,there are many opinions of No Child Left Behind, an act that both benefits and hurts all in once. Another big issue within schools and school districts is religion. Religion and Educationare not a good mixed according to the Federal Government. The law of Separation of Church andState keeps God and religions out of schools. This phrase is not mentioned in the Constitutionbecause the drafters of the Constitution did not see an issue of church and state when theydrafted the constitution (MacLeod 28). There have been many controversies over separation ofchurch and state, some that have went to court and caused a national change. An unknownperson once said, “It seems unreasonable that public schools allow open discussion about sex butdo not allow open discussion about God.” Schools are no longer even allowed to offer suchactivities as a prayer, instead it is known as a meditation period or a time for voluntary prayer(MacLeod 31). In today’s world, there are many opinions that say that schools should teach moreabout religions but there are also opinions that say that schools should teach less about religion. In conclusion, there are many different educational standards and laws that make thepublic school systems what they are today. As stated, there is a difference of opinions of howthe public education school system should be ran, these opinions run from citizens toprofessionals, even to politicians. Standardized testing is one test that measures the progress ofall students, no matter their status. Even though curriculum is the basis of the schools, it oftenchanges to try and help benefit the majority of the public education students. The federal
  6. 6. Ross 6government sets legislations that set the basics for public education and the best way that theythink would benefit the students. All in all, even though education is a great thing, there aremany flaws.
  7. 7. Ross 7 Work Cited Page“Bush, George W.” Academic Search Complete. Encyclopedia Britannica Online School Edition, 2011. Web. 14 Sept. 2011. <http://www.school.eb.com/eb/article- 278448?query=No%20child%20Left%20Behind&ct=null>.“Education.” Academic Search Complete. Encyclopedia Britannica Online School Edition, 2011. Web. 14 Sept. 2011. <http://www.school.eb.com/eb/article- 9435328?query=No%20child%20Left%20Behind&ct=null>.Forbes: n. pag. Google. Web. 14 Sept. 2011. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/luisakroll/2011/08/ 31/diane-ravitch-on-how-to-fix-k-12/>.Has No Child Left Behind Been Good for Education? Ed. Christina Fisanick. Detroit: Gale Cengage Learning, 2008. Print.Hudson, David L., Jr. Educational Standards. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 2007. Print.McGee, Freddie, Joanne Wilkerson, and Ana Rivas Logan. “Educators Discuss Classroom Life Post-NCLB.” Interview by Deborah Amos and Martin. Tell Me More. 3 Sept. 2008. Discovering Collection. Web. Transcript. 15 Sept. 2011. <http://find.galegroup.com/srcx/ retrieve.do?subjectParam=Locale%2528en%252C%252C%2529%253AFQE%253D%25 28su%252CNone%252C4%2529nclb%2524&contentSet=IAC- Documents&sort=Relevance&tabID=T005&sgCurrentPosition=0&subjectAction=DISP LAY_SUBJECTS&prodId=DC&searchId=R1&currentPosition=1&userGroupName=can t48040&resultListType=RESULT_LIST&sgHitCountType=None&qrySerId=Locale%28 en%2C%2C%29%3AFQE%3D%28ke%2CNone%2C4%29nclb%24&inPS=true&search Type=BasicSearchForm&displaySubject=&docId=A184392222&docType=IAC>.
  8. 8. Ross 8“No Child Left Behind(NCLB).” Academic Complete. Encyclopedia Britannica Online School Edition, 2011. Web. 14 Sept. 2011. <http://www.school.eb.com/eb/article-9444110>.“No Child Left Behind—a Progress Report .” Academic Search Complete. Encyclopedia Britannica Online School Edition, 2011. Web. 14 Sept. 2011. <http://www.school.eb.com/eb/article- 9403612?query=No%20child%20Left%20Behind&ct=null>.Religion and Education. Ed. Tom Head. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2008. Print.Standardized Testing. Ed. Diane Andrews Henningfeld. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2008. Print.

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