The No Child Left Behind Act was an act of congress in 2002 that changed the standards and procedures for disadvantaged students in the public school system. It required states to develop basic assessments that students must complete every year to see the level of development. These schools must also reach a certain standard in order to receive federal funding. This change in policies came as quite a shock to parents, teachers, and students alike. Has it really benefited the children in America or has it been more a hindrance?
No Child Left Behind Act Pros
Tests Scores Have Improved
Since the NCLBA has been implemented, testing scores in many areas around the country have drastically improved. This may be due to the increased focus on material that the children will tested over.
Better Qualified Teachers
In an effort to preserve their federal funding, many school districts have risen the standards that they have for their teachers. More and more expert and experienced teachers are being employed, as many as 90% more across the nation.
Closing The Gap
One of the biggest focuses of the NCLBA was closing the achievement gap between privileged and underprivileged students. It has done just that. The achievement gap, which means overall success of the student in the long term, has been drastically reduced in the last decade this act has been around.
Many supporters of the No Child Left Behind Act believe that by providing the resources to all students, regardless of ethnicity or financial situation, will result in a more educated generation of graduates. This in turn will mean that they will be more active in government and politics.
No Child Left Behind Act Cons
The tests that are given to assess the development of the students is geared towards only one type of test taker and thinker. It doesn’t depict accurate results because instead of learning the material, students are just learning the answers.
Due to the fact that these tests focus so largely on math and reading, funding and resources for many creative art programs have been cut. This includes art classes and music classes.
“Teaching The Test”
Teachers no longer have the ability to teach things the way they would like or are most comfortable with. They are so worried about their students performing well on this one tests, that it has become the main focus in the classroom for the majority of the school year.
More Schools Falling
Schools receive ratings based on the performance of these standardized tests. More schools than ever before have received a “need improvement” rating due to the harsh nature of the test and scoring.