The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 was signed into law by President George W. Bush on January 8, 2002 and is still in use today. No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is comprised of six major points: annual testing, academic process, report cards, teacher qualifications, reading first, and finding changes (Education Week, 2011). The ideas behind each of these are as follows:
Annual Testing: Starting in the 2005-06 school year, states must annually test grades 3-8 in mathematics and reading. Starting in the 2007-08 school year, students must be tested at least once in elementary, middle, and high school in science. These tests are to be aligned with state academic standards. Lastly, a sample of 4th and 8th graders in each state must participate in the National Assessment of Educational Progress to provide a comparison between all 50 states, and these tests shall be given every other year.
Academic Progress: By the 2013-14 school year, states must have all students performing at the “proficient” level on state tests. Each school must meet state “adequate yearly progress” for both the student population as a whole and in certain demographics of students. If a school that receives federal funding fails to meet standards two years in a row, the school will receive assistance and students will be allowed to transfer into another school; students who continue in a school that fails to meet standards will be given private tutoring. A school that continues to fail to meet standards will be subject to outside assistance that may include government intervention.
Report Cards: Beginning in the 2002-03 school year, states are required to give annual report cards to students that show student-achievement data broken down by subgroups and performance of school districts. School districts are also required to give similar report cards that shows school-by-school data.
Teacher Qualifications: By the 2005-06 school year all teachers of core classes must be “highly qualified” in the subject they are teaching meaning that the teacher is certified and is proficient in their subject. Also all paraprofessionals must have completed at least two years of college, obtained an associates degree, or passed an evaluation to demonstrate their knowledge and teaching ability.
Reading First: This is a competitive grant program created by the NCLB Act that helps states and districts set up scientific and research based reading programs.
Funding Changes: Targets funding toward districts with poorer children and gives states
NCLB was designed to ensure that every student in every school achieves certain learning goals and to help bridge the education gap between different demographics. Through the required assumption of student success or failure, schools are intended to increase student achievement (Yell, July 20, 2010). This legislation, which was backed by the Democratic party, tries to measure students’ projected economic viability through national standards that the government...