Essay about No Child Left Behind

Submitted By cgauert
Words: 1405
Pages: 6

In recent history, no piece of educational legislation passed by the federal government has had as significant an impact as No Child Left Behind Act. This policy mandates that the Government Issue a standardized test in order to gage the educational grade level the student currently possesses the knowledge of. The tests cover the three core subjects: math, reading, and science. First, reading and math are issued in grades three through eight, then once more in grades ten through twelve. In order to ensure that all students are on a level playing field, the teachers are given a specific curriculum to cover in the classroom in order to make sure the students are properly prepared for the material that they will be tested over. Given the adequate preparation the teachers receive, consequences can occur if test scores do not meet expectations at the classroom, school, or even district level; in these instances, it is not uncommon for the school to have its funding cut. Also, it is not uncommon for changes in school officials and classroom teachers to take place as a result, as stated in the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. With the negative effects of the NCLB Act, it is necessary to understand its intended purpose.
The first concern of No Child Left Behind deals with the educational effects the act has on the students. The ideal learning situation for young students is to allow for the experience to be both enjoyable and educational; for instance, in in elementary level education the children require both a fun and friendly environment in order to be more apt to learning, and wanting to learn, new material. Due to the strict standards and guidelines of the No Child Left Behind Policy, it is believed that it may have an adverse effect on the learning environment of the younger students. The excessive guidelines and curriculum standards make it more difficult for teachers to allow their students to learn in a more fun and innovative form, resulting in a greater barrier between the teacher and the children. This lack of creative learning makes it harder for the children to absorb and understand the material, as it is no longer as relatable. As a result of this, the children and teachers are both placed under a more significant amount of pressure to both teach and absorb the required material.
When a school meets both the curriculum guidelines and standardized testing scores that the federal government requires, the school can expect to receive funding due to this success. However, this ideal success is not always the case, and instances occur where the classrooms, schools, or districts do not meet expectations; particularly, these difficulties are experienced by lower income districts where quality teachers are not as affordable and students living in the area are not likely to be as motivated. According to Darling-Hammonds,
“Schools serving low-income students of color with crumbling facilities, overcrowded classrooms, out-of-date textbooks, no science labs, no art or music courses and revolving door of untrained teachers, while their suburban counter parts, spending twice as much for students with fewer needs, offer expensive libraries, up-to-date labs and technology, small classes, well qualified teachers and expert specialist, in luxurious facilities.”
This revelation suggests that the program may not be out of concern for educational quality of the students, but how these students reflect upon the state, and how the particular state ranks nationally.
Many students have excellent grades according to the grade scale but to the No Child left Behind Policy have made many students grades look terrible against what their expectations are. For example, “In Minnesota where eighth graders are first in the nation in mathematics and on a par with the top countries in the world, had 80 percent of students on track to be labeled failing according to the federal rules.” (Darling- Hammond) The federal level has made it impossible to