Education is the one and only resource all and sundry has that is theirs alone. It is also the one asset everyone has that can never be taken away from them. Does anybody believe that the United States government and politicians should be those holding the keys to our future generations’ quality of education? The future of any nation depends directly upon the degree of cultural and educational development of younger generations. Besides, any education system needs constant control and upgrading to correspond to the world standards and bring better results. This leads to discussing the Act of 2001, which received the name “No Child Left Behind” which was signed by President Bush in the year 2002. Also known as NCLB, this program is termed as “a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act” (Yell 23).
NCLB holds accountable the states as well as the schools for the academic achievements of the students as funds are being supplied to the states for this purpose. This plan for unfortunate students was the first to expand the ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act). NCLB was formed in an answer to the reaction of public concern of education, with stricter guidelines for testing, and a stronger importance for highly qualified teachers’. Because of the public reaction about education, the key aims of the “No Child Left Behind” Act is to improve as much as possible the situation in education and provide sufficient support for the disadvantaged students. The NCLB does not allow a single public school to be left out of this document
The aim 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. Quality education is provided for all students regardless of their class, race, ethnicity, color, language and even disabilities. The minority students are able to access quality education just like the white students.
* Title 1, Part D ensures that children who are found to be delinquent or neglected by their parents receive quality education while in confinement institutions and foster homes. There were many children in the United states who could not afford education due to poverty or being brought up in slums but through the NCLB Act, they are guaranteed education whether they have parents or not. Those with no homes and have a background of criminal activities are put in confinement institutions and given quality education so that they can have a better future (Yell 64).
* Title II, Part A concentrates on bettering the quality of teachers, and principals. This title put great emphasis on grooming, coaching, and hiring well qualified teachers and principals. This Act helps in hiring well qualified staff and this improves the quality education in schools. When schools have a well qualified staff, the quality of education given to students’ increases and this improves their performance in schools.
* Title II, Part D provides funding to improve technology in schools to ensure students academic success. When technology is improved in schools, there is academic improvement in all subjects since the students have all the resources needed for their learning. The law provides that all schools should be funded in order to improve the learning standards in schools which later improve their academic performance of schools because they have all educational facilities needed for their learning.
* Title IV, Part A supplies necessary resources to provide a safe environment that sustains academic success. The NCLB Act gives the parents an opportunity to access their children’s performance in school since they are given report cards showing their performance record. Bothe the parents and teachers have a chance to improve the students performance and this nurtures a good and safe environment for all students.
I support the NCLB Act because, it measures educational status and growth by ethnicity, and helps to eliminate the education gap between the whites and minority. NCLB also ensures that students with disadvantages such as low income families, minorities, or those with disabilities receive a quality education. I maintain that the act offers many programs to help students, parents, teacher, and principles alike improve themselves. Moreover, with the NCLB Act, parents are kept “in the loop” by being offered detailed annual student achievement reports, and accountability standard reports. This Act has improved the performance of students and the standards of education in the US.
The “No Child Left Behind” came from the goal that helping every child reaches their academic potential and to help each child become smart and effective adults no matter what the disadvantage is by discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, class and disability. It is said that the schools are not required to maximize a disabled student’s educational outcome, but it is merely to provide an educational benefits, which as a mere baseline of the educational services and instructions in which it allows the student who has a disability to advance from one grade to another.
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 punishment imposed on schools for failure of students might provoke schools to set lower standards so as to be off the hook of the punishment from the law. Furthermore, it may possibly lead to segregation of students basing on their race or class depending on their performance in class. 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.
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. However with all these opposition, there is still room for improving the Act so as to fix all these problems for the betterment of the United States educational system.
In essence, I am in support of the No Child Left Behind Act since it has brought lots of changes in the educational sector of the United States. It has democratized the Unite States education since standards are set and resources are provided to schools regardless of class, disability, religion, ethnicity, race and the language spoken by the students. The equal sharing of educational resources has greatly improved the performance of the minority students since they are able to access quality education just like the white students. The students are taught with highly qualified staff and this has improved their performance.
As much as this Act has its advantages it has its flaws since it was implementation. It has been highly doubted that the law may cause states to lower achievement goals and force teachers to teach according to the requirements of the tests and thereby reduce the effective teaching and learning. The standards of the policy have been so stiff that there has been extremely low performance in various states, e.g. Massachusetts had 80% of schools did not meet the standards of improvement even after improved test performance rendering it senseless to term all of them failures. NCLB needs to overcome many of its shortcomings to ensure that the education system actually make students learn and not just pass the tests and reach higher levels without being capable enough. However, the No Child Left Behind Act has improved the educational standards of the United States.
Behind, No Child Left. No Child Left Behind. Conference report to accompany HR Rep, 2006.
Rich, Mokoto. ‘No Child’ Law Whittled Down by White House New York Times, 6 July 2012, electronic http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/06/education/no-child-left-behind-whittled-down-under-obama.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
Yell, Mitchell L. and Drasgow, Eric. No child left behind. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, 2012. Print.