For the past 10 years, The No Child Left Behind Act instituted by the federal government during the George W. Bush presidency. It is has been a controversial piece of legislation and continues to remain a debatable effort toward improving the educational efforts in public schools in America. The No Child Left Behind Act requires that specific efforts be taken in educating America’s youth.
These standards include:
- Accountability for schools
- Adequate yearly progress
- Getting results
- Closing the achievement gap
Accountability for schools
The No Child Left Behind accountability measures require states to set high standards and establish measurable goals to help improve the results of education in public schools. If these standards are not met, repercussions for the school are the result.
Adequate Yearly Progress
Adequate Yearly Progress or AYP reports are given to each school annually to determine each school’s fifth grades level of success based on end of year standardized test scores. If the fifth grade students within the school fail to reach these standards for one year or more, there are consequences and a series of steps that must be taken and may have results such as replacing of teachers or administration members. Each year of consecutive failure can result in more and more severe action.
Like the previously mentioned categories, overall test results must be improving each year to ensure a successfully ran school under NCLB. Since the installation of the NCLB act, there has been improvements in reading, math and sciences throughout the country.
Closing the achievement gap
One aspect of NCLB educational development is to ensure that there is not a gap between those of minority races, white students as well as lower class and upper class. The idea is to narrow these class and racial gaps between students by giving all students the same standards to uphold. NCLB requires schools and districts to focus the attention on the students who need the most help and improvement, which often ends up being students of minority races or of a lower socioeconomic class.
The future of No Child Left Behind
Recently U.S. President Barack Obama has announced future changes to the NCLB legislation. The new plan is to focus more on making sure students are ready for college and the workplace that recognize student growth and overall goals toward school progress. Many felt like the previous concept behind NCLB resulted in too many schools setting extremely low standards for its students to ensure the NCLB testing objectives were being met. The new idea is to reward successes rather than low set goals.