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No Child Left Behind - Essay Example

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and number No Child Left Behind Date submitted No Child Left Behind Description of No Child Left Behind The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 was formed during the governance of then President George W. Bush as an educational reform aimed to “improve student achievement and change the culture of America's schools” (U.S…
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and number No Child Left Behind submitted No Child Left Behind of No Child Left Behind The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 was formed during the governance of then President George W. Bush as an educational reform aimed to “improve student achievement and change the culture of America's schools” (U.S. Department of Education, 2005, par. 1). Enacted as a public law on January 8, 2002, the act was clearly described “to close the achievement gap with accountability, flexibility, and choice, so that no child is left behind” (Public Law 107-110-Jan. 8, 2002, 2002, p. 1). It contained more than 9601 sections within ten titles encompassing 670 pages of legislations pertinent to the act. Accordingly, it was emphasized to be built on “four common-sense pillars: accountability for results; an emphasis on doing what works based on scientific research; expanded parental options; and expanded local control and flexibility” (U.S. Department of Education, 2005, par. 2). In sum, “NCLB requires each state to set academic standards; test all students periodically in science as well as in reading and math in grades 3-8 and once in high school ; and to set annual accountability targets for every school to meet. NCLB sets a national goal that by 2014 all students would be "proficient" in reading and math, and requires states and school districts to intervene in schools that miss their annual targets for multiple years” (The White House, 2011, par. 10). Rationale for Opposing or Supporting the Act From opinion polls and studies conducted by various educators and practitioners, it was revealed that the rationale for opposing the act was that “nearly half of school principals and superintendents view the federal legislation as either politically motivated or aimed at undermining public schools. Likewise, a study Policy Analysis for California suggested that, because of its requirement to evaluate school progress on the basis of demographic subgroups, the law might disproportionately penalize schools with diverse student populations (Public Agenda, 2003; Policy Analysis for California Education, 2003)” (cited in Editorial Projects in Education, 2012, par. 11). Further, there were identified rules regarding the need to report and measure adequate yearly progress and the reported goal of proficiency reaching 100% by the time frame 2013 to 2014 (Editorial Projects in Education, 2012, par. 12). On the other hand, supporters of the act, particularly members of the American Federation of Teachers indicate that they are supportive of the goals and specifically, Jamie Horwitz, the spokesperson of the group averred that “We like the professional development component, the emphasis on reading, Title I, and that it did not include a voucher program. We think it will have a positive affect" (Education World, 2011, par. 16). Personal View of No Child Left Behind and how it fits into one’s Educational Experiences Personally, one strongly agrees that the goals of the No Left Behind Child Act are commendable. However, with regards to implementing the defined strategies, like instituting testing programs, the tight financial resources allocated to various schools create problems of effective pursuance. This experience was corroborated by “Rachel Tompkins, president of the Rural School and Community Trust, which works with 700 rural schools in 35 states, agrees. "We view it as having lofty goals and not enough resources to accomplish them, particularly for the poorest, most rural school districts," says Tompkins. "I don't know how schools will be able to cope with the expense of these programs. There is some money to cover the cost of testing. But it's crunch time. There are increases in resources that are beneficial; it's just not enough" (Education World, 2011, par. 22). Likewise, consistent with the experiences in other public schools, there have been problems with the standardized tests that appear to be flawed and do not accurately assess and reflect the abilities of students. Based on experience, diverse students have unique and distinct abilities which could not be effectively captured by a set of standardized tests. Current Status of No Child Left Behind and Changes Proposed According to the speech delivered by President Barack Obama at the Kenmore Middle School in March 2011, there are noted reforms to be made on the No Child Left Behind, particularly in areas such as: setting a clearer unified goal; identifying the need to install in every school both exemplary teacher and principal; the ability to foster innovation and center on outcomes and results; and providing an education for every student based on the 21st century ideals (The White House, 2011). The discourse emphasized that through the Department of Education’s analysis of the Act, the “NCLB's broken accountability system means that the overwhelming majority of schools will not meet NCLB's goals and the students most at risk won't get the help they need. Instead of NCLB's one-size-fits-all mandates, we need to fix this law now so that we can close achievement gaps and win the future” (The White House, 2011, par. 6). Conclusion The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 proposed grand goals that are definitely commendable as these policies and regulations appear in paper. However, as educators started to implement the proposed strategies to achieve these goals, educators and policy makers acknowledged that there is a need to fix the original act to make the objectives more achievable and consistent with the demands of the current times. The latest call on Congress by President Obama finally clarified the areas to be fixed and finally set the course on the right track. References Public Law 107-110-Jan. 8, 2002. (2002, January 8). Retrieved February 22, 2012, from http://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/esea02/107-110.pdf Editorial Projects in Education. (2012). No Child Left Behind. Retrieved February 22, 2012, from Education Week: http://www.edweek.org/ew/issues/no-child-left-behind/ Education World. (2011). No Child Left Behind: What It Means to You. Retrieved February 23, 2012, from http://www.educationworld.com/a_issues/issues273.shtml Public Agenda. (2003). Rolling Up Their Sleeves: Superintendends and Principals Talk About What's Needed to Fix Public Schools. The White House. (2011, March 14). President Obama Calls on Congress to Fix No Child Left Behind Before the Start of the Next School Year . Retrieved February 24, 2012, from http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/03/14/president-obama-calls-congress-fix-no-child-left-behind-start-next-schoo U.S. Department of Education. (2005, January 19). Introduction: No Child Left Behind. Retrieved February 22, 2012, from http://www2.ed.gov/nclb/overview/intro/index.html Read More
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