A wide variety of local and national issues are currently affecting education and will continue to affect education until addressed and resolved. Overcrowded classrooms, shortages of supplies, low salaries for teachers, dilapidated buildings, and high substitute teacher use are a few of the issues adversely affecting schools across the nation. Even though a few of these problems have been resolved, many still remain. These issues are determined by the location of the school and the type of school, whether private, public, or charter. The current issues in education of particular concern to me are the No Child Left Behind Act, school financing, and bullying.
Effective in 2001, the No Child Left Behind Act was proposed to nationally and annually test all children under the same conditions and with the same test to prevent students from being trapped in a failing school. Other conditions were also implemented by the enactment of the No Child Left Behind Act. States were required by the 2013-2014 school year to have all students score “proficient” on state tests. By the 2002-2003 school year report cards were required to have detailed information regarding students’ achievement. Teachers of core content areas had to be “highly qualified” to teach by the 2005-2006 school year. In 2004, the implementation of the Reading First program was designed to create research based reading. Finally, the Act was expected to give schools with the highest number of poor children resources, and intended to give all states a greater flexibility in how their funding was spent.
Significantly, the emphasis on these mandated tests after the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act raised the teachings of reading and mathematics to a whole new level. With curriculum focusing the majority of its time on reading and mathematics, scores have increased across the nation, but a large gap among students still exists (Jennings & Rentner, 2006). Those who are smart prove to be smarter, but those students who struggle still seem to struggle. The pure memorization of facts being taught under these conditions is going to negatively affect students in the future upon entering high school and college, and on their life endeavors.
In addition, the benefits of the No Child Left Behind Act are currently being debated. “Some educators and policymakers [have] questioned the feasibility and fairness of its goals and time frames” (No Child Left Behind, 2004). The expectations of this Act are causing controversy due to time constraints and the real motive behind the Act. Is the No Child Left Behind Act really going to benefit our students nationally? In December 2003, “nearly half of school principals and superintendents [viewed] the federal legislation as either politically motivated or aimed at undermining public schools” (No Child Left Behind, 2004). Similarly, in California a study suggested “the law might disproportionately penalize schools with diverse...