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No Child Left Behind: Not Living Up To Its Name

1091 words - 5 pages

In 2001, a bill called the No Child Left Behind Act was voted on to become a law. Former President George W. Bush was in office at the time of this bill becoming a law. He did the final signing to make the bill a law. This law was created during a time of national concern for the academic level of the schools in the United States. It requires that all public schools must test their students on reading, math, and science yearly. The goal of this law was to have every school to reach academic proficiency during the 2013-2014 school year (Education Week). Although the NCLB Act was meant to be helpful and ensure the better education of students, it puts immense amounts of pressure on students, suppresses teachers’ creativity, made a difference everywhere, some places have experienced positive differences and others negative, and it has inspired future bills that equally well-minded, but not enough to make a positive difference everywhere.
The pressure that is put on to the students of today’s public schools is incredible. Principals and school counselors walk into classrooms and inform students about how imperative it is to do their best on these assessments. They explain that if the class as a whole does not reach a certain goal, then the school and the teachers get in trouble and lose money (Terry). The principals know that it is important to inform the students of the challenges that they could face if they do not try very hard to do well. What they may not realize is that while their message gets through to the students, those students may take it to heart a little too much and feel like they need to be perfect, so their school does not get shut down. As a student who has lived through being told about the consequences of not performing well on these tests every year since the third grade, I took the principal’s words very seriously. I felt like it was my job to prove to the government that my teacher was great and should not be fired just because of a lousy test score.
Of course, teachers do not get fired the first time that their students do not make what is called Adequate Yearly Progress, also called AYP for short (Trussell). After the third year of a school not reaching AYP the entire staff may be replaced, government Title I funding is taken away (Education Week). The article by Education Week is very informative about the purpose of the law and the concerns that began to form after it was put into action. The largest concerns about this law are the Adequate Yearly Progress requirements, the repercussions for not meeting those requirements too many times, and the goal of every student meeting 100 percent proficiency in the school year of 2013-2014. As a mother and a teacher, Pam Trussell had some concerns about the No Child Left Behind Act. She feels that teacher are not given much choice in how they teach lessons. The students are not to be given options, they must learn lessons the supposed correct way, thus stifling creative teaching...

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