No Child Left Behind Creates More Problems For Students Than It Does Solutions

2546 words - 10 pages

The No Child Left Behind Act was designed by President George W. Bush in 2001. Although this act seems to be cutting edge and has generated enormous amounts of both controversy and support, this is not the first time American Education has seen such an attempt to improve education. According to the U.S. Department of Education, the purpose of No Child Left Behind is to improve student achievement and change the culture of America's schools. ?The NCLB Act of 2001, the revised Elementary and Secondary Education Act, is a potent blend of new requirements, incentives and resources and it poses significant challenges for states? (?Education Commission of the States,? 2003). No Child Left Behind laws require that every state must develop and implement an accountability system; ?Holding schools accountable for the performance of all students is the cornerstone of the NCLB Act? (2003). There are four main principles to the new plan; Greater accountability for student achievement, greater flexibility for states, districts and schools in the use of federal funds (more specifically Title I funds) and more choices for parents of children from disadvantaged backgrounds and an emphasis on teaching methods that have been demonstrated and proven to work. However and even still, No Child Left Behind creates more problems for students than it does solutions because of accountability laws. More specifically, students in special education are held to the same standards that students in regular education are held to.

Under the requirements for No Child Left Behind Act every school must have highly qualified teachers and must meet adequate yearly progress. Additionally, each school must report attendance, test scores and other statistics publicly.

The No Child Left Behind laws requires that every state must develop and implement an accountability system. This system must test students in grades three through eight and ten on their level of proficiency in reading and math. In 2008 there are plans to add science to tests (Wright, 2003). These measures, which are statewide, determine how many students are making Adequate Yearly Progress, or AYP. In other words, those students that are proficient in reading and math are considered to be making AYP. Those that are not passing the tests or are not proficient are considered to not be making Adequate Yearly Progress. At first this appears to be a reasonable measure of student?s abilities. It sounds like it will push both students and teachers to work harder and focus more on student achievement and success. However, as the details of this accountability section of the law unravel it appears to be a lot more complicated. A large part of the problem is who is included when the time comes to count test scores to determine whether or not students are making AYP. No matter what subgroup one comes from they are held responsible making AYP. A subgroup, according to Dennis M Curran (assistant...

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