No Child Left Behind Essay

Submitted By lukehenry2011
Words: 832
Pages: 4

No Child Left Behind No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 is a United States Act of Congress that is a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which included Title I, the government’s flagship aid program for disadvantaged students. NCLB supports a standards-based education reform based on the premise that setting high standards and establishing measurable goals can improve individual outcomes in education. The Act requires states to develop assessments in basic skills. States must give these assessments to all students at select grade levels in order to receive federal school funding. The Act does not assert a national achievement standard; standards are set by each individual state. NCLB expanded the federal role in public education through annual testing, annual academic progress, report cards, teacher qualifications, and funding changes. Many people view this bill as positive and at the same time many people view it as detrimental to the advancement of our education system. There are several arguments that favor the No Child Left Behind rule. One of these pro arguments is the fact that in the United States there needs to be a counter in the declining “SAT and ACT scores and the mediocre performance of U.S. students in international rankings” (ERN Volume 19 Number 8). This shows that in the U.S. there is a mutual feeling that our test scores need to increase up to the level of some of our biggest international competition. Our governmental leaders are worried that if we don’t better our youth now then we will keep slipping down the education ranking scale. A second argument that is in favor of NCLB is the fact that all students will be “expected to meet common standards that challenge them to acquire content and skills that are more than just minimum requirements” (ERN Volume 19 Number 8). This is important because it gets away from the idea that a student born in a lower economic area doesn’t have to do as well as a student who is born in a high end area. It is showing a push to get away from special treatment for students who don’t actually need it. A third argument in favor of NCLB is with the assessment centered accountability. What this means is that there has to be some sort of standardized testing to show performance across a nation. “Standardized testing is the best alternative for comparing student performance across different education systems because human judgment is error-prone” (ERN Volume 19 Number 8). Decades of evidence show that the quality of teachers' tests are not comparable with more rigorously developed large-scale tests. On the flipside of these pros there are some cons. Firstly with the assessment driven reform section of the bill “SAT scores declined during the 1970s” because more students were taking the exam trying to go to college, and there wasn’t this drop in performance (ERN Volume 19 Number 8). Secondly with the standards based assessment section of the bill by telling students what they have to learn we are taking away the students