No Child Left Behind is the most recent act to try and promote the closing of the achievement gap. It has been imposing requirements on state education systems that provide funding for education, in addition to what the school may already have, or receive. It has been found that the new funding is supporting low standards of student performance. Due to this limited funding the states are having a strong incentive placed on them to keep standards low. This will help allow them to avoid the severe penalties enforced from the NCLB laws when they have not met the standards set.
The purpose of No Child Left Behind is to have higher quality schools, teachers, and resources for the children to get a higher quality education. No Child Left Behind Policy of 2001 The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 is a landmark in the education reform design to improve student achievement and change the culture of America’s schools. (U. S. Department of Education, 2004)This act will help put an end to discrimination, and promote responsibility. The ultimate goal is to ensure that all students will be proficient in reading and mathematics by 2014. Many Public Schools Failing under New Law, 2003)The National Assessment of Educational Progress administers tests to students to examine the performance of the children. As one of the necessities, states are required to create tests and administer them annually to students, measuring their adequate yearly progress (AYP) in hopes of meeting state standards. (Issues and Controversies, 2004) Over the past couple years; the national government has been making an effort to give additional attention to education, which is needed for success.
The children’s reading and mathematics scoring levels had been slowly declining, which brought about a call for action. With the signing of the No Child Left Behind act higher goals were implemented for all of the schools. They were pushing to ensure improvements to all students’ performances, in all states and school districts. This also gave parents the right to send their children to any school they chose. Exact principles were not mandated since the constitution gives each state a reserved right to that power; although, ertain aspects of NCLB have become common in each state. Also, there are students testing in every state. In grades third through eighth, students in the public school system are required to take test annually for reading and mathematics. Science is required as well in a chosen level: third through fifth grade, sixth through ninth grade, and tenth through eleventh grade. Math and reading are tested additionally once while in high school.
Many people feel that teachers “teach to the test” and therefore do not like NCLB. While others tend to feel that NCLB ensures a child’s goal of learning more effectively and graduating. However, until another approach is represented No Child Left Behind is the federal law. Under the No Child Left Behind policy the law states that the nation’s schools and districts must meet certain benchmarks each year. Those schools which cannot reach the set mark will fall short of meeting the federal law.
Following a set two year period of failing to meet federal standards, schools are mandated to propose to any student the chance to attend a school that is meeting all requirements, all transportation paid. An additional year following the given two, the school is required to offer private tutoring services for students. Schools that continue at this level of proficiency for five or more continuous years may run the risk of being closed, or being put under new management. Establishment of the act is requiring that state and local schools are to receive an estimated $25 billion dollars.
However, the government states that to attain the money the schools must acquire highly qualified teachers who will work towards, and accomplish closing the achievement gap between the diverse students. It is also a requirement that under the Title I program that no less than 10 percent of the money received must be set aside for staff/teaching development and leadership work courses. Another requirement of the act is as follows, it is a requirement for teachers to have bachelors or higher degree in their field of expertise, as well as, they must also be licensed.
Teachers must demonstrate a high level of competence in the teaching area of his/her field, to be determined by the state. In an attempt to achieve this goal No Child Left Behind is providing improved information for the teachers, principals, and is presenting additional information to the parents of children. Test will be provided annually to examine the children’s strengths and weaknesses. This will help create lessons to help each child achieve the set standards. Each individual state will have an assessment with content that is connected to achievement standards.
Therefore, parents will be provided with information on the academic level their child is functioning at, as well as progress reports for teachers disclosing whether each school has reached its goal. Supporters of this new act are planning to leave No Child Behind and help the children who are in need of services. On August 1, 2001 President George W. Bush stated “when it comes to education of our children.. Failure is not an option” (U. S. Department of Education, 2004). This is the intended goal of the No Child Left Behind policy.
Additional stresses have been placed on local and state districts to hire an advanced quality of educator to push for professional development. There are t critics who argue added expenses never fully get paid back by levels of the funding from No Child Left Behind. Yet others dispute that since the law was passed the education funding for NCLB has dramatically increased, so much that the funds could be better used in other areas. Secretary of Education, Rod Paige, ensured that the children’s education was remaining a duty of the state, apart from any federal support received.
It has been said Washington will continue to help support the additional cost of keeping up with the requirements, yet there is a teaching responsibility left to each state. There is support to help with the costs of test development in the legislation, even if this is seen as a gift, the state still has their own responsibility to ensure it goes forth. Over several years alternatives have been brought up for examination, one for instance, the Forum on Educational Accountability. The FEA is a multi-organizational program that proposes a renovation to the No Child Left Behind Act.
If these changes were to be adopted; the proposals would replace sanctions with assistance and improvement. As well as, an attainable, yet realistic improvement in scoring rates. It would include assessments for evaluating schools, and many viable sources of verification towards understanding and development in schools. The FEA based its plan on the Joint Organizational Statement from NCLB. This was signed by 140 national education, civil rights, religious, disability, parent, civic and labor organizations, representing 50 million Americans.
FEA has issued two major reports and submitted detailed recommendations to congress. (EDA Accountability, 2009) The reports state all children should be attaining quality scores by 2014. In review ,the FEA is stating they will provide support in developing quality assessments of state and local school districts, require fewer yet higher quality tests, implement changes while holding schools responsible, use more than one indicator to evaluate the schools, use measures of growth that track individual gains, support instead of punish, as well as many others.
Those followers of No Child Left Behind who are Democrats continue to be very critical of the implementation. They claim NCLB is not being funded sufficiently by the federal government or by state. Ted Kennedy, the legislation’s initial sponsor, once stated: “The tragedy is that these long overdue reforms are finally in place, but the funds are not. ” Susan B. Neuman, U. S. Department of Education’s former Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education, commented about her worries of NCLB in a meeting of the International Reading Association.
In the most disadvantages schools in America, the most earnest teacher has often given up because they lack every available resource that could possibly make a difference. (No Child, 2011) The federal government has been criticized, by many organizations, for the unwillingness to ‘fully fund’ the No Child Left Behind Act. Noting that appropriations bills always originate in the House of Representatives, it is true that during the Bush Administration neither the Senate , nor the White House have requested federal funding up to the authorized levels for several of the act’s main provisions.
For example, President Bush requested only $13. 3 billion of the possible $22. 75 billion in 2006. (Hayes, 2008) In 2008 Bush’s proposal for the budget allotted $61 billion for education, this shows that 44 out of the 50 states would take federal funding reductions, if it were to pass. Specifically, the Enhancing Education through Technology program s demand for technology has increased greatly in school, while the funding for this program continues to decline. However, these claims focused on reallocated funds.
As each of President Bush’s proposed budgets increased funding for major NCLB formulas, such as Title I, including his final 2009 budget proposal. (Technology and Learning, 2006) The Title I federal funding is being based on each one of the schools having met the annual set of standards. No Child Left Behind is the current controller of this portion of the Title. This goes back to what was stated earlier on the school who are not showing progress, consequences will be enforced, such as paying for transportation of sending children to a passing school and the risk of being closed or places under new management.
The Title I program has an estimated $14. 3 billion available. That is a $406 million dollar increase since the year 2001. This money should help to provide schools the extra resources needed to help all of the students reach the required proficiency level. The Title I also allows up to $491 million dollars in grants to promote low performing schools instate effective leadership. There are also the State Assessment Grants($409 million), Statewide Data Systems($100 million), and Teacher Incentive Funds($200 million) to help with the high cost of improvement. U. S. Department of Education, 2009) Members of Congress who are viewing the sanctioned levels are not seeing them as spending promises, but as spending caps. There are a few who argue that endowment shortfalls face schools with the hardship of dealing with the penalties for not meeting set targets, such as being denied resources that are necessary to fix the issues detecting by testing. However, federal and local funding increased by over $100 billion from school year 2001-02 through 2006-07. (Absolute Astronomy, 2011)
Many people believe that the segregation now find in schools is due in large part to the No Child Left Behind Act. Different studies are showing that African American students are attending some of the lower end performance schools in the Unites States. Also they are showing these children are scoring lower on close to every indicator than Caucasian children. For example, high minority and high poverty schools score much lower on standardized test than low minority and low poverty schools, but 71% of African Americans attend high minority schools and 72% of African Americans attend high poverty schools.
Standardized assessments scores reflect these disparities: the percentage of African Americans meeting proficiency in national assessments in reading and math is less than one fourth of that of White students. (Knaus, 2007) Regardless of the heart of No Child Left Behind wanting to advance student’s education of those in the achievement gap, the gap is not being narrowed. In the years 2004-2006 there was a period where the scores for those in the minority, blacks and Hispanics, did improve.
But the scores of the Caucasian students improves as well, this kept the achievement gap the same, regardless of President Bush’s declaration that a remarkable outcome was taking place due to the No Child Left Behind Policy. Even while statistics are showing a dramatic improvement from the black and Hispanic population from decades ago, most of these improvements in score were not recently made, but were made decades ago during the efforts made to end segregation in the 1970’s and 1980’s. The truth is that the narrowing that has taken place in the achievement gap was done long before 2001 when the act was implemented.
Regardless of the gain made by the majority and the minority, the average test scores are, in average, relatively the same as those taken back in the 1970’s. There are a few who say this proves that No Child Left Behind has been unsuccessful on its mission of making serious changes that would lead to closing the achievement gap. “We’re lifting the basic skills of young kids,” said Bruce Fuller, an education professor at the University of Berkeley, “but this policy is not lifting 21st-century skills for the new economy. ” (DILLON, 2009)References
Absolute Astronomy. (2011). Retrieved February 3, 2011, from Absolute Astronomy Web Site: http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/No_Child_Left_Behind_Act DILLON, S. (2009, April 28). ‘No Child’ Law Is Not Closing a Racial Gap. Retrieved March 1, 2011, from http://www.democracyforums.com EDA Accountability. (2009, June 10). Retrieved March 4, 2011, from EDA Accountability Web Site: http://www.edaccountability.org/ Hayes, W. (2008). No Child Left Behind: past, present, and future. R&L Education. Issues and Controversies. (2004, September 25). Retrieved March 7, 2011, from Facts.com: http://www.2facts.com. Knaus, C. (2007, March 1). Still Segregated, Still Unequal. Retrieved February 26, 2011, from BerkelyRep.: http://www.berkeleyrep.org/school/images/Knaus.pdf Many Public Schools Failing under New Law. (2003). World News Digeset . No Child. (2011). Retrieved February 24, 2011, from No Child Web Page: http://www.m.nochild.net/?page=5 President's FY 2009 Education Budget: Building On Results.(February 2008) Retrieved April 2, 2012, from http://www2.ed.gov/about/overview/budget/budget09/factsheet.html U.S. Department of Education. (2004, September 25). Retrieved February 28, 2011, from No Child Left Behind: www.ed.gov/nclb/overview.html