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No Child Left Behind Is A Pipeline To Prison

1025 words - 4 pages

Running head: NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND IS A PIPELINE TO PRISONNo Child Left Behind is a Pipeline to PrisonLisa R AddisonDecember 14, 2008ENG. 105AIU onlineAbstractThe no child left behind (NCLB) Act's mandates and lack of federal funding have led to failing schools, frustrated teachers, and administrators and worst of all children left behind by a system that does not have the resources to educate properly under the NCLB mandates. The "one size fits all" mentality of NCLB has in fact caused inequality and injustice to the children it intended to protect and educate equally. The doors of opportunity have been slammed on children and have pushed them out of the mainstream public educational system and into alternative schools and the juvenile justice system causing a school-to-prison pipeline.No Child Left Behind is a Pipeline to PrisonThe NCLB act was signed by President Bush in early 2002 and in theory was what should have been the best thing that could have ever happened to public education. NCLB is based on a previous law, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. The NCLB initiative is intended to narrow the gaps in achievement, hold schools accountable for advancements each year, and hire better educated teachers. However, NCLB has failed its own fundamental purpose and will result in failing schools and more importantly failing children. The NCLB and its unfunded mandates have pushed already struggling school systems to their breaking points and caused many children to be forced into alternative settings such as the juvenile justice system and alternative schools which are grooming them for adult prisons, thus no child left behind is a pipeline to prison.The NCLB initiative has in effect inadvertently caused a "zero tolerance" culture within the public school system that is not just in reference to behavior or misbehavior of students. This zero tolerance culture promotes the idea that test taking and high achievement on tests is the learning process and creativity or different styles of learning are not part of the process and will not be encouraged. This in and of itself is a roadmap to failure for all students in the public school system. Relying solely on standardized test scores and teaching those tests to children throughout the school year is merely teaching them that learning is not valuable but that test scores are all that count. It was once said, "Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts" (Albert Einstein).In addition to the zero tolerance culture that the NCLB initiative has promoted in the academic area in the public school system, the initiative as well has mandated a zero tolerance policy to be in effect in all schools to address behavior, drug policies, weapons, fights and other behavior related issues. This zero tolerance policy has taken normal childhood offenses that at one time would have been handled by a teacher or principle and has turned...

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