Policy Problem and Solution
The U.S is now facing a problem that affects children today and in the future. These children are the future of the U.S, so shouldn’t they all have the highest quality of education possible. Through new policies implemented by the Board of Education, education has become a competition for schools to earn their funding. The Race to the top is a mandate (p.81) which is a formal order from the national government that the states carry out certain polices, is supposed to create incentive to improve and reform schools (ESEA Blueprint for Reform, 2009), by requiring evaluation systems of teachers to compete with other schools (A. Levine and M. Levine, 2012). Race to the top has created pressure on states, districts, and teachers to improve test scores as a means to earn or keep funds. The act also rewards districts and teachers that show improvement according to student’s standardized test scores and enforces reform on schools that do not improve or meet the requirements (ESEA Blueprint for Reform, 2009). Pressure can lead to districts, principle or teachers to cheat, so they may keep their jobs or keep their funding (A. Levine and M. Levine, 2012). Teachers, principals and districts salaries are based on rigorous evolutions that are based on student’s standardized test scores. This can also determine who is hired and fired, and which schools get funding and how much funding they will receive (A. Levine and M. Levine, 2012).
The No Child Left behind Act (NCLB), a Conditional grant (p.81) defined as federal grants with provisions requiring that state and local governments follow certain policies in order to obtain funds, implemented high standards in 2001 by the Bush administration. The requirement made by NCLB seemed impossible for schools to accomplish without the proper funding and the amount of time given (Shelly, 2011). The NCLB and ESEA only made it difficult to meet requirements by encouraging race to the top, but it also made it possible for business to make profit off of schools and affect how schools are run, without any knowledge or research to base it on (A. Levine and M. Levine 2012). It seemed so impossible that some states such Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Utah, and Virginia tried to Nullify (p.68), an attempt by states to declare national laws or null or void, parts of the No child left behind act. While “Connecticut opted to sue the federal government for failure to adequately fund the law” (Shelly, 2011). Why don’t all the states simply reject the NCLB and ESEA? Reliance on federal funding by the states is so strong that they have to accept the conditions in order to receive the funding they need (Shelly, 2011). NLCB was augmented by the Obama Administration, U.S Department of Education, and Secretary of Education; Arne Duncan in 2009 by the Elementary Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Blueprint for Reform.
The ESEA gives schools that need reform four choices, one of those choices is to become a charter school....