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    No Child Left Behind

    The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 is an act of the United States Congress that reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.¹ This act is the government’s program for disadvantaged students. The act supports standards-based education reform based on the premise that setting standards and establishing measurable goals can improve individual outcomes in education.¹

    The act requires states to develop assessments in basic skills that must be given to all students at certain grades in order to receive federal school funding.¹ The act does not outline a national achievement standard but instead allows standards to be set by each individual state.¹

    The NCLB act expanded the federal government’s role in education through annual testing, annual academic progress, report cards, teacher qualifications, and funding changes.¹

    Schools that receive Title I funding must make adequate yearly progress in test scores. This, for example, means that third graders must do better on the standardized tests than the previous year’s third graders.¹ If schools miss adequate yearly progress targets, remedial action is taken. This can include being publically labeled as a school that “needs improvement”, offering free tutoring, extending class time for students, and possibly replacing the entire staff.²

    In addition to setting targets for school children in general, states are required to set goals for specific groups including: economically disadvantaged students, students with disabilities, and students with limited English proficiency.² The act also requires schools to let military recruiters have students’ contact information and other access to the student unless the students opt out of giving military recruiters access.¹

    The No Child Left Behind Act has many effects on schools. First, schools face increased accountability. The passing of the NCLB means that there is an increased responsibility of schools and teachers. The goals of the NCLB act help teachers and schools realize the significance and importance of the educational system and how it will affect the nation.¹

    If a school fails to meet the AYP targets two or more years in a row, students have the choice to transfer to higher-performing schools.¹

    Prior to the NCLB act, new teachers were required to have bachelor degrees and to be fully credited. Under the NCLB, existing teachers needed to meet the same qualifications of new teachers, usually by taking examinations.¹




    1. U.S. Department of Education. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001). Retrieved May 14, 2014, from http://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/esea02/index.html

    2. Dillon, Erin & Rotherham, Andy. States’ Evidence: What It Means to Make ‘Adequate Yearly Progress’ Under NCLB. 

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