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The Debate Over The No Child Left Behind Act

1163 words - 5 pages

The current debates surrounding the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 are both positive and negative. Many politicians and people that previously supported the Act are now standing against it. In the beginning many supported the new Act because everyone was aware that a change needed to happen in the education system and the proposal of No Child Left Behind seemed like the answer we were looking for. As the No Child Left Behind requirements began to be felt in the school systems across America and the assessments results started coming in, everyone took a step back and really began to look at the new law. The results were not what everyone expected, what was once considered an answer was now becoming the problem.
The National Education Association in the beginning supported the No Child Left Behind Act but knew that it needed some revisions before it would be the effective in the school system. The NEA felt that the Act met the requirements of ensuring equality among the school population but they disagreed with the Act’s accountability and testing requirements. Democrats and Republicans both showed great support when the Act was initially proposed by President Bush, but as time went on they to began to question the outcomes. Democrats and Republicans began to debate on the provisions in the Act of state accountability. “The National Conference of State Legislatures called the bill’s testing provisions “seriously and perhaps irreparably flawed.” (Rudalevige, 2003). This was due to the law not having any set way to account for the testing that was supposed to be part of the Act; it left that process up to the individual states.
“NCLB's measurement of proficiency, or "Adequate Yearly Progress" (AYP), has largely been discredited due to its inability to measure growth and account for increasing performance targets” (Huffington Post, 2011). This is another glitch of No Child Left Behind, the law wanted school to assess their students on a yearly basis to see who they rated among national levels but they did not give any assistance or guidance on how they wanted to school to implement this. Schools were now not only forced to implement the changes to meet the requirement of No Child Left Behind, now they had to come up with a way to measure their progress. This only added to the negative views of the new law and has been a sore spot among debaters in Washington and the school system.
According to a nationwide poll released “almost 70 percent of American adults who say they are familiar with the federal No Child Left Behind Act believe it has had no effect or is actually hurting public schools” (Greifner, 2006). Many parents began to see the effects this new law had on their children. The added stress of testing that would determine if you passed or failed your grade, homework by the boatloads, and normal childhood activities such as recess were becoming a thing of the past. Parents and educators began to speak out against the Act and...

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