No child left behind

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Introduction

The goal of the No Child Left Behind is to improve the academic achievement of all students in the United States that include those historically under performing groups. The Congress with the encouragement of President Bush passed the act that aimed at preventing children from being left behind in education. The NCLB is designed so as to change the culture of the schools in American through closing the achievement gap, providing more flexibility, teaching students based on what works, and providing parents more options.  The act is a good idea considering that children are our future, and we should ensure that they have all the opportunities that education can provide them.

Cause and Effect

The goal of the NCLB was to close the socioeconomic and racial achievement gaps and improve the academic achievement. The act requires an intensive focus on basic skills in preparing for state assessment tests. The act grew out of the education-reform movement and focused on creating standards and measuring the student performance using tests. The act requires that schools should test all students every year and show not only how students performed overall, but how the individual minority groups and people with learning disabilities performed (Rapoport, 2012). NCLD was an effort of shedding light on the populations frequently underserved. Since the law took effect, it has had an impact on the public school classrooms. It affects what students learn, the training of their teachers, the tests they take, and the way money is spent in education.

Since the enactment of the NCLB Act, it has spurred many changes in the secondary and elementary education (Klein, 2015). Most of the states revamped and expanded their testing and the accountability systems and some created the systems where none did exist before. As a result of the Act, the districts and schools revised their curricula, reorganized instructional time to meet the adequate yearly progress, and expanded programs for the struggling students. With the Act, teachers changed how they teach, and students are taking more tests than ever.

With the enactment of NCLB, it has a significant effect on the US education. The Act has helped in improving the US education system. With the law, it forced the predominantly middle-class high school to pay much attention to their minority and poor students so as to meet required goals. Depriving poor and minority students of an equal chance at a good education tend to violate their civil rights (Azzam 2007). The effect of the law is that it built an appetite to pay attention to students who have been overlooked previously. The enactment of the law has seen an improvement in the student performance. Among younger students, there have been certain gains (Klein, 2015). Research findings indicate that the elementary school math shows the greatest improvement.

According to Paley (2007), the NCLB act has been driving the achievement gains. The act struck a chord of success with the nation’s schools and student. As a result of the law, the achievement gap between the black and white students is shrinking in most states, and the pace of the student gains increased after the enactment of the law. The law is much effective in narrowing the achievement gaps in those states where more minority students are attending schools requiring the subgroup-specific reporting of the test scores.

The NCLB brought the test-based school accountability to scale across the US. The new accountability systems in response to NCLB influenced the student achievement, measures of the school and teacher practices, and the school district finances. According to Azzam (2007), NCLB brought target gains in the math’s achievements of the younger students and mostly those in disadvantaged backgrounds. It is a law that requires teachers to be highly qualified so as to teach core academic subjects in the classroom. The elementary school teacher should have a bachelor’s degree and also pass rigorous test scores in the core curriculum area. The teacher qualification provision of the law aims at ensuring that schools, where students need the most help, do employ the teachers who are qualified to provide the services.

The NCLB law aimed at holding schools as more accountable and empowering parents. While ensuring that schools are being accountable, the law has also had an impact on teachers and principals as they are making better use of the test result in improving teaching (Klein, 2015). As a result of the law, schools tend to be paying more attention to the alignment of curriculum and instructions and schools are also analyzing the test score data much closely.

Conclusion

The NCLB law focus on stronger accountability for results, expanded options for parents, emphasis on teaching methods proven to work, and expanded the flexibility and local control. While focusing on the accountability efforts, the law has also allowed the low-income families with children who have less academic opportunities to be able to move to the private schools via the school voucher. The law has had a great impact on poor students and students with a disability.

Reference

Azzam A (2007). Special Report / The Intervention Called NCLB. Early Intervention at Every Age. 65(2)

Klein, A (2015). No Child Left Behind: An Overview. Retrieved from http://www.edweek.org/ew/section/multimedia/no-child-left-behind-overview-definition-summary.html

Paley, A (2007). Scores Up Since ‘No Child’ Was Signed. The Washington Post

Rapoport, A (2012). The coming battle over NCLB exemptions. Retrieved from http://prospect.org/article/coming-battle-over-nclb-exemptions.



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