The No Child Left Behind Act

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When President George W. Bush signed the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) into law in 2002, the legislation had one goal-- to improve educational equity for all students in the United States by implementing standards for student achievement and school district and teacher performance. Before the No Child Left Behind Act, the program of study for most schools was developed and implemented by individual states and local communities’ school boards. Proponents of the NCLB believed that lax oversight and lack of measurable standards by state and local communities was leading to the failure of the education system and required federal government intervention to correct. At the time, the Act seemed to be what the American educational system…show more content…
With the NCLB’s focused emphasis on English and math standards, other educational areas such as the arts and sciences have been overlooked. The No Child Left Behind Act also focuses on bringing the lower scores up and not helping in raising the scores of those students who are already at higher levels leaving these higher achieving students behind in a push for equality. Although test scores have risen and the achievement gap between minority and white students has decreased, the No Child Left Behind Act has damaged the United States educational system by not addressing the needs of all students, forcing curricula to exclude arts, civics, foreign language and sciences, and emphasizing testing and not learning. It is time for a change. Proponents of No Child Left Behind cite the rise in test scores as evidence that the Act is meeting its goals. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the largest nationally representative and continuing assessment in the country, the score of an average 9 year old inclined up only 4 points in reading during the three decades prior to the passage of NCLB. That works out to a glacial gain of approximately 0.1 point per year. By contrast, from 1999 (the last scores available before NCLB was enacted) to 2012, our country’s 9 year olds have gained 9 points in reading—or an average of 7 times as much annual growth. (Hatalsky) However, Jack Jennings,
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