query_builder October 20, 2009

No Child Left behind Act and its Impact on Education

No Child Left behind Act was passed in 2001 and became a law in 2002. It was proposed by President G. W. Bush soon after taking office as the President of United States. The act was primarily focused towards the elementary and secondary education of the children on how to take effective measures that could benefit the children. Another emphasis of this   act was to devise some practically implementing strategies that could provide easy access to the schools for all the children regardless of their race and background. No child Left behind enacts the theories of standards based education reforms for the schools which is based on the belief that by raising the standards and setting up measurable goals can greatly improve the outcome of the students.

The act is currently applicable in all the states and functioning properly for the benefits of schools and students. Moreover, the results that can be obtained to observe the advantages of this act are still vague because no school is left to compare with. Though independent research has shown that the differences in the previous education system and the reforms that have been implemented after this act has affected the outcomes of the students where they are most effectively involved in their curriculum providing good results. The direct analysis of state test scores before and after enactment of NCLB also supports its positive impact.

A primary criticism asserts that NCLB could reduce effective instruction and student learning because it may cause states to lower achievement goals and motivate teachers to “teach to the test.” A primary supportive claim asserts that systematic testing provides data that shed light on which schools are not teaching basic skills effectively, so that interventions can be made to improve outcomes for all students while reducing the achievement gap for disadvantaged and disabled students.

This act put various obligations for the schools in order to work properly under the government regulations. High standards were applied to the schools they wanted to operate. The teachers had to meet certain qualification skills if they wanted to continue their career as teacher. Consistent training was organized by the government so that a single standard should be met all around the country. Various administrative changing took place all in all to make the elementary and secondary schools a better place for the study of the children where they can enter to learn not only their curriculum but also much more in their ways to interpret life in its various essences. Previously, the education of the country was never disturbed. The same old structure of universities and colleges was being effectively used. Elementary and secondary schools issues started when degradation was seen in the caliber of students from these schools. No single reason was present to justify this degradation. Students were not able to sustain pressures present at the higher level of educations thus making them inappropriate for the good universities and colleges. The theories behind the implementation of this act were majorly based on these issues which required that a certain system should be implemented in the schools where the skills of the students should be recognized and then accordingly they should be treated in various activities with their needs.

Various improvements have been seen after the implementation of this act into the schooling system. The academic achievement of minority students has increased under NCLB. This is reflected on the California Standards Test (CST). More of these students are also enrolled in higher level of math courses than before the law was passed.

Following can be considered as the enhancements that can be related to the implementation of No Child Left behind Act;

Improvement in Test Scores:

The entry tests required by various universities and colleges are the most important part of a students’ career. Keeping this in regards, the preparation for this test is initiated at an early level with far more interest in the weak issues that a student has. Various improvements in the results have been seen on consistent basis after this act implemented.

Improvement over local standards:

Many argue that local government had failed students, necessitating federal intervention to remedy issues like teachers teaching outside their areas of expertise, and complacency in the face of continually failing schools. Some local governments, notably New York State, have voiced support for NCLB provisions, because local standards had failed to provide adequate oversight over special education, and that NCLB would allow longitudinal data to be more effectively used to monitor Adequate Yearly Progress.

Increased accountability:

It has been observed that NCLB has allowed greater options for the parents when it comes to the educational future of their students. Also the gap between the achievements of minorities and the white gap has been minimized from time to time. NCLB aims to show achievement toward these goals through federally mandated standardized testing.

Attention to minority populations:

The gap between the minorities and white students has been minimized by the provision of this law. The main emphasis was always the access of better education facilities for all the students no matter from which class and race they belonged. The discrimination fact was no longer valid. The minorities were most of the time under achieved students due to different social and financial reasons. There were disable students as well in the school. It was then devised that all the states will define subgroups for their students who are from minorities. They were provided with facilities with extra care and more attention towards the course from the White who were on the other hand were still better. These changes brought a good change in the minorities as they begin to understand their important in the society and therefore were far more confident on their abilities.

Quality of education:

Quality of education was increased as the result of the implementation of NCLB. The schools were obliged to raise their educational and teaching standards and also have to implemented innovative ways of transferring knowledge. The research activities started after NCLB and the schools have to recruit a senior and experienced staff for these purposes. The parent involvement was much more now as they were met by the teachers from time to time with the feedbacks from both sides. Professional development of the students started right from here in the classrooms for those who were thought that they will not be able to reach the colleges. NCLB emphasizes reading, writing, mathematics and science achievement as “core academic subjects”.

School choice:

School choice gives options to students enrolled in schools failing to meet AYP. If a school fails to meet AYP targets two or more years running, the school must offer eligible children the chance to transfer to higher-performing local schools, receive free tutoring, or attend after-school programs. It also gives school districts the opportunity to demonstrate proficiency, even for subgroups that do not meet State Minimum Achievement standards, through a process called “safe harbor,” a precursor to growth-based or value-added assessments.
These all can be viewed as the far most impact of this act on the education in the United States. After this implementation the skilled educated power of the country has increased spectacularly. With the advent in the overall education structure, there has been some criticism against this act as well. However, the benefits are far more than expected, the critics still have many issues against this act.

Gaming’ the system:

The critics say that the individuality of the school plays a very major role in the manipulating of the results. They say that for the provisions of the funds, schools can try to change the results in order to get more funds from the government. There are too many schools in the each state and it is impossible for the states to keep an eye on ever school. The

Critics state that schools have been shown to employ “creative reclassification” of drop-outs. Critics argue that these and other strategies create an inflated perception of NCLB’s successes, particularly in states with high minority populations.

The incentives for an improvement also may cause states to lower their official standards. Because each state can produce its own standardized tests, a state can make its statewide tests easier to increase scores. Missouri, for example, improved testing scores but openly admitted that they lowered the standards. A 2007 study by the U.S. Dept. of Education indicates that the observed differences in states’ reported scores is largely due to differences in the stringency of their standards.

Problems with standardized tests:

Critics have argued that the focus on standardized testing as the means of assessment encourages teachers to teach a narrow subset of skills that will increase test performance rather than focus on deeper understanding that can readily be transferred to similar problems. For example, if the teacher knows that all of the questions on a math test are simple addition equations, then the teacher might not invest any class time on the practical applications of addition so that there will be more time for the material which is assessed on the test. This is colloquially referred to as “teaching to the test.”

Incentives against low-performing students:

Because the law’s response if the school fails to make adequate progress is not only to provide additional help for students, but also to impose punitive measures on the school, the incentives are to set expectations lower rather than higher and to increase segregation by class and race and push low-performing students out of school altogether.

It can be highly observed from the theory that NCLB act has proved to be a success when it comes to those who have talents and need polishing. At the same time, it may be the end of the underperforming students to carry on their education at a highly rated institution. But this is being made sure that everyone has the access to the resources, no matter who he is. That is the major theme of this Act.

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