The No Child Left Behind Act

2537 words - 10 pages

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001

Education is the foundation upon which all people grow intellectually, emotionally and socially. American education developed from European intellectual traditions and institutions brought into the New World and continued with modifications and improvements (Foner and Garrataly). Since before the Revolutionary War, America has had a long tradition of considering education as one of the cornerstones of proper upbringing. Over the years there were many significant modifications made to the American educational system, one of which is a recent piece of legislation. On January 8, 2002, President George W. Bush signed into law a “bipartisan education package that greatly expands the federal role in public education” (National Conference). The President and the Secretary of Education Terrell Bell assembled the National Commission on Excellence in Education (NCEE) to investigate the quality of United States education. As a result, he reported our “education system was producing mediocre results, and among the remedies prescribed was the establishment of a common core curriculum, or academic standards” (National Conference). In recent years, concern over the perceived lack of quality in the United States public school system has led to a movement toward implementing and enforcing education standards. Therefore, The No Child Left Behind Act was created- culminating in more than four decades of federal expansion into public education. Research shows that most reading problems which adolescents and adults face stem from problems that could have been prevented through solid instruction in their early childhood years. The No Child Left Behind Act proposes leaving no children behind; therefore, all students must meet new and higher standards. The law itself is not only unrealistic, but it has, at present, created unattainable goals.

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 is a “landmark in education reform designed to improve student achievement and change the culture of America’s schools” (ED.gov). The new act encourages accountability and helps abolish inequality in education.
The “ultimate goal is to ensure that all students will be proficient in reading and mathematics by 2014”(World News Digest). The National Assessment of Educational Progress tests students periodically to investigate performance. In 2003, they reported thirty nine percent of white fourth graders, fourteen percent of Latino students and twelve percent of black students were able to read effectively at grade level. As supporters say, “current shortcomings in the education system justify such a bold approach” (Issues and Controversies). As one of the necessities, states are required to create tests and administer them annually to students, measuring their “adequate yearly progress” toward meeting state standards (Issues and Controversies). Schools that do not meet the mark fall short under the federal law. After two years of...

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