No Child Left Behind
Education has changed drastically over the last 15 years. After the No Child Left Behind was put into effect by President George Bush the standards for schooling have been changed. The No Child Left Behind was a law that was made to make sure schools were meeting the guidelines of “proficiency”. Once this law was made many schools started to fall behind because they could not reach this so-called goal. Now lets look at it why this No Child Left Behind hasn’t been able to actually raise the standards of American Schooling. Although NCLB was put into effect to change American Schooling it actually has brought down many schools and children.
No Child Left Behind was a great promise to our public school system. It stated that all children, regardless of race, socioeconomic status, gender, creed, color, or disability will have equal access to an education. Except one problem was how could NCLB really promise these things, when American schooling has not been able to make these changes in 10 years. According to “Many Children Left Behind” written by Deborah Meier, an educational reformer who writes about the issues of education, “NCLB had the right to do the right thing for our children by increasing funding for school that serve the poor; ensuring that every child would be taught by high qualified teachers; and holding schools that take federal funds accountable for raising achievement of every student by disaggregating their achievement data“ (Meier).With these rights that NCLB they thought they could make the standards of schooling go up but little did they know it was only going to go down. This funding was going to certain schools ahead of others, and also it was going to bring the economy down with it. NCLB was a law put into place to make education better, but the more and more it tries to bring up the standards of schooling the more schools fall behind.
Another main guideline of the NCLB was that it was to make schools meet the guidelines of being proficient. NCLB just didn’t exactly define proficiency as a whole, they left up to the states to define these guidelines. NCLB stated that if a school couldn’t reach their proficiency mark then they would have so long to bring up the grades or else that school would be shut down, or even taken over by the government to fix this problem. This was only a short fuse that would anger many schools, because you can’t just expect a school to bring up its standards in a few years when the students aren’t really going to try on these tests. My middle school made us take these tests and really nobody took this test seriously. Nobody cared if they pass this test because it didn’t affect their grade it only affects the teachers. So basically the schools were left with two decisions; give the students the answers so that they could pass the test, or they would just have to fail and not meet the proficiency guidelines and get in trouble for that by the state. In a recent news article published on March 30th, 2011 in the USA Today Education website, it talked about how a D.C. public school system was accused of tampering with the standardized tests. The answer sheets were said to be locked up in a safe room but now that it is being questioned. It talked about how the investigation on this school will continue to see if the school is guilty of cheating on the standardized tests. Here is a link to this story from USA Today. So to protect the schools most teachers would find ways to give the answers on this test without anyone finding out just so they could protect their jobs.
Mark Kaetsu writes an article No Child Left Behind which he writes, “Results have been disheartening; in California, a mere 30% have reached “reading proficiency”” (Kaetsu). Neill Monty who is an educational expert who writes for the National Journal about education, wrote about how schools matter and he brought up the study done by the National Center for Education Statistics: “The average 8-grade reading score remains below the level of achievement shown in 2002” (Monty). Also in this same study it pointed out that the African-American race is only making a gain of 1.5-2 points per year range. With this increases per year, the average African-American will not quite reach proficient in 20 years(Monty). Obviously with this slow increase these standard of proficient are out of reach for some students. NCLB seems that is only leaving students behind when it is there to help children not to be left behind. These standards need to be changed to help with these failing schools and students. When a student fails under these tests then the schools fails and is shut down, so why punish the schools that obviously need the most help in this situation. NCLB needs to change its ways a little more and help the students and schools that need it most, they don’t need to praise the schools that are reaching the goals. NCLB was put into place to raise the standards of American Education, but obviously the standards of American Education is only getting lowered over the years. There should not be a specific guideline to become proficient because not all children are the same when it comes to taking tests or learning.
No Child Left Behind was great law to start but as results show it is only leaving children behind that need the most help. Schools are having a hard time reaching these proficiency standards on this test they have to take. Students don’t truly care if their school is a failing school, it doesn’t bother a student to fail a test that doesn’t affect them. So there should be a test that affects the students and teachers as a whole. This way the students would feel the need to take the test seriously and then the results that were found would be accurate to determine what schools were doing the actual teaching of the set curriculum instead of just teaching to the test. So now just think about it, if your child was in a failing school would you want them to shut down that school just based on one test? NCLB was made to help children but all in all is it really helping children? By the results founded it’s not helping the ones that need help the most.
Kaetsu, Mark. “No Child Left Behind.” A Journal of Academic Writing. Hohonu, 2004. Web. 3 April, 2011.
Meier, Deborah. Many Children Left Behind: How the No Child Left Behind Act is Damaging Our Children and Our Schools. Boston: Wilsted & Taylor Publishing Services, 2004. Google Books. Web. 3 April 2011.
Neill, Monty. “NAEP and NCLB.” Schools Matter. Blogger.com, 4 Oct. 2007. Web. 3 April 2011.