The role of the federal government in setting education policy increased significantly with the passage by Congress of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, a sweeping education reform law that revised the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. "Federal policy has played a major role in supporting standards-based reform since the passage of the Improving America's Schools Act (IASA) of 1994. That law required states to establish challenging content and performance standards, implement assessments
hold school systems accountable
" (Goertz, 2005, pg. 73) American attitudes toward the public schools have changed radically in the last 50 years. In the 1940s public opinion polls showed that 87 percent of Americans were
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Also, at that time students must be offered the alternative to transfer to a better performing public school, with the district providing transportation. If a school fails to progress for a third year, the school must offer students supplemental services chosen by the parents. Such services may include private tutors or programs sponsored by religious organizations. Although NCLB federally mandates accountability, the law remains true to the principle of local control and flexibility by allowing states to develop their own standards and assessments and grants greater discretion to local school districts (LEAs) to spend up to half of their federal education dollars at programs that will assist them in achieving their goals. Districts may consolidate programs, apart from Title I to fund initiatives that would best achieve their goals, but they may not do so in ways that would exclude private school students from equitable participation in programs for which they are eligible. The organizational structure of this policy begins at the federal level. The federal government provides grant money to states in which the states disperse funding to local school districts.
Additional provisions Included within the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 are two additional, and very important, social polices. The first is the provision for prevention and