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Comparison of Elementary and Secondary Education Act, NCLB, Race to the Top - Research Paper Example

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Running head: ESEA, NCLB, and RTT 1 Comparison and Contrast of ESEA, NCLB, and RTT (Name) (University) ESEA, NCLB, and RTT 2 Comparison and Contrast of ESEA, NCLB, and RTT Overview The “Elementary and Secondary Education Act” (ESEA) was signed into law by President Johnson in 1965 (Standerfer, 2006, p.26)…
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Download file to see previous pages For years, Congress has attempted to reform it with little results. Upon the election of President Obama, efforts to reform this act is reinvigorated. The Obama government released the “Blueprint for Reform” last March, 2010. The Blueprint for Reform is a proposal for the re-authorization of the ESEA/NCLB, and is based on the successes of the “Race to the Top” (RTT) (Morrell, 2010, p.146). RTT is a plan for the increase of test-based accountability, centralization, standardization of education. The changes from the ESEA of 1965 up to the RTT and Blueprint for Reform of 2010 created the modification of the education system from “district-designed curriculum and testing under Johnson, to state-driven standards and testing under Clinton and Bush, to national curriculum standards and high stakes tests under Obama” (Onosko, n.d., p.1). Specifics ESEA ESEA's enactment in 1965 demonstrated the federal government's push for the improvement of public education (Standerfer, 2006, p.26). Ever since then, the government played an increasingly significant role toward education. Through the Department of Education founded in 1980, the government is able to set standards for the quality of educators, provide funds for school libraries in low-income schools, etc (Hustedt & Barnett, 2011, p.168). As the federal funds assisting K-12 spending increased significantly over the years, the requirement for local and state schools reporting also increased, yet, is prohibits the creation of a national curriculum. It states that by providing equal access to quality education, achievement gaps among students are lessened. It mandates that funds be provided for the ESEA, NCLB, and RTT 3 promotion of parental involvement, support of educational programs and materials, and professional development. Every five years, the act has been re-authorized (Standerfer, 2006, pp.26-7). One of the most recent re-authorizations is the NCLB. NCLB NCLB mandates that every state should have a challenging achievement standards and curriculum particularly for Math, Science, and English. This means that states should have a benchmark of the achievement level and learning expectations for a specific grade level. However, despite mandating a state-driven curriculum, NCLB does not impose any requirement on the academic standards and curriculum created by each state. Because of this, it created a great disparity among the states' quality standards (Strunk & McEachin, 2011, pp.879-81). RTT or Blueprint for Reform The Blueprint for Reform is based on the RTT, which is the Department of Education's competition to promote reforms to the quality standards set by each state. It was announced in July, 2009, and awarded schools for meeting the requirements of nationwide standards on performance. Because of this, several critics argue that the effect is a weakened public education as it promotes charter schools. Furthermore, several are doubtful of the reliability of high-stakes tests. Despite the criticism, it spawned the idea for the Blueprint of Reform where each state is required to develop standards in Math and English that would promote college readiness. States are given 2 options in developing such standards. One is to work with the public education system to ensure that, despite the states keeping their own quality standards, they are meeting the requirements set for college readiness. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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