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No Child Left Behind

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No Child Left Behind
Luisa Villalba
EDU623
Professor Smith
November 5, 2012

The No Child Left Behind act was put in place to help better educate America’s youth. The NCLB act shines light on our education system, and how our focus needs to be on educating our children. Explore what the NCLB act was intended to do its pros and cons, and President Obama’s fight to reform NCLB. In 2001 President George W. Bush proposed a federal law known as The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The law supports several federal programs intended to improve U.S. schools by raising the standards of responsibility for school districts, schools, and states. The law also allows room for parents to choose the schools they would like their children to attend. The NCLB act concentrates on increasing reading, and math sores nationwide. The objective of the NCLB act is that all students meet state guidelines set in hopes of students reaching their full academic potential. Funding for the NCLB act is divided into quite a few sections, or titles. For example * Title I, Part A focuses on obtaining resources for disadvantaged students. This is done by providing funding to bring qualified educators into the classroom. * Title 1, Part D ensures that children who are found to delinquent, or neglected receive quality education while in detention centers, or institutions. * Title II, Part A concentrates on bettering the quality of teachers, and principals. This title put great emphasis on grooming, coaching, and hiring quality principals, and teachers. * Title II, Part D provides funding to improve technology in schools to ensure students academic success. * Title IV, Part A supplies necessary resources to provide a safe environment that sustains academic success. (Ocvts, 2012)

Even though the No Child Left Behind act seems to be a great advantage for students there are still those who oppose the act. A major complaint about the NCLB act is that the federal government is overstepping its bounds. Many feel that education should be handled at a state level. Some believe that federal mandates created by the NCLB act cause more financial burden on states, and local level as well. Many argue that the NCLB act focuses too much on standardized testing, and strict teacher requirements. The National Education Association argues that teachers are expected to perform at a certain level, yet proper funding is not available to meet the needs of students. The NEA also believes that schools who do not meet the federal standards are “punished” by not receiving funds. Although there are flaws in the NCLB act it still has plenty of supporters. (Unknown, 2012) Supporters will argue that the “NCLB measures educational status and growth by ethnicity, and helps to close the achievement gap between white and minority students (White, 2012). NCLB also ensures that students with disadvantages such as low income families, minorities, or those with disabilities receive a quality education. Enthusiast of NCLB will maintain that the act offers many programs to help students, parents, teacher, and principles alike improve themselves. Supporters will also give praise that parents are kept “in the loop” by being offered detailed annual student achievement reports, and accountability standard reports. The NCLB act has directly affected my life in a positive manner. My daughter suffers from learning disabilities in reading, and math. The NCLB act focuses on pushing every child to their fullest potential when it comes to reading, and mathematics. My daughter benefits from many programs such as individualized education, and a smaller classroom setting for reading. The main thing I have noticed about her services is that they vary from state to state. When I lived in Pennsylvania my daughter’s services were not as detailed as they are here in Georgia. I see the growth in my daughters reading level in just a few short weeks of school. I support the NCLB act even though it has a few kinks that need to be ironed out. Presently the NCLB act is greatly influenced by funding. With the NCLB act Districts which perform better on standardized test receive more funding. In some cases schools that do not do well on standardized test do not receive funding at all. In most cases teachers tend to shy away from schools that do not receive funding because they are for the most part operating under poor conditions. Students in schools that receive no funding do not have sufficient materials for teachers to teach with, or buildings may operate under inadequate conditions. In March of 2011 President Obama ordered Congress to fix the problems with the NCLB act. President Obama gave Congress the task of reorganizing the NCLB act by the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year. At this point more than half of the nation’s schools do not meet the standards of the NCLB act. The following were President Obama’s guidelines for Congress… * “A fair accountability system that shares responsibility for improvement and rewards excellence, and that is based on high standards and is informed by sophisticated assessments that measure individual student growth; * A flexible system that empowers principals and teachers, and supports reform and innovation at the state and local level; * And a system focused on the schools and the students most at risk -- that targets resources to persistently low-performing schools and ensures the most effective teachers serve students most in need.” (Press Secretary, 2011)
President Obama’s goal is to have our nations student’s fully prepared to enter college/work force after graduation. Obama also wants American students to be one of the top competitors when it comes to education by the 21st century. We have explored what the NCLB act was intended to do its pros and cons, and President Obama’s fight to reform NCLB. Although I am for the NCLB act I must agree it is a work in progress.

References
Unknown. (2012). No Child Left Behind Act. Retrieved from http://www.ocvts.org/webdocs/district-policy/nochildleftbehind-summary-pdf.pdf
Unknown. (2012). Criticism of No Child Left Behind. Retrieved from http://education.findlaw.com/curriculum-standards-school-funding/criticism-of-no-child-left- behind.html
White, D. (2012). Pros & Cons of The No Child Left Behind Act. Retrieved from http://usliberals.about.com/od/education/i/NCLBProsCons_2.htm
Press Secretary. (2011). President Obama Calls on Congress to Fix No Child Left Behind Before The Start of The Next School Year. Retrieved from http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/03/14/president-obama-calls-congress-fix-no- child-left-behind-start-next-schoo

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