Essay about The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001

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On January 8, 2002, President George Bush signed into law The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, which was a reauthorization of Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which was designed to help disadvantaged students achieve success in school (Editorial Projects in Education Research Center, 2011) The components of The No Child Left Behind included annual testing, academic progress, report cards, teacher qualifications, and funding changes. These measures were “designed to drive broad gains in student achievement and to hold states and schools more accountable for student progress” (Editorial Projects in Education Research Center, 2011, para. 3). NCLB also promised to close the achievement gap and increase student learning (Hursh 2007).…show more content…
The emphasis on high-stakes testing as a result of NCLB has led to a widening of the achievement gap, as African-American males are compared to other demographics. NCLB prompted schools to focus more on remedial instruction and test-taking strategies. Consequently, educators had to “shift resources away from important but non-tested subjects”, such as art, physical education, and music, and “to focus instruction in math and reading on the relatively narrow topics that are most heavily represented on high-stakes tests” (Dee and Jacob, 2011, p. 418). Furthermore, instructional effort was reallocated away from the high-performing and low- performing standards, which lead to more instructional emphasis on students who were more likely to achieve proficiency on benchmarks and state assessments (Dee and Jacob, 2011). The effect of NCLB was very deleterious to African-American males. Because of the narrowing of the curriculum and the teaching to the test, African-American males were unable to garner as much academic progress as they should have. The tremendous pressure on schools to raise test scores resulted in some school districts manipulating test scores in order to depict gains across the demographics and subgroups (Hursh 2007).

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