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The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and How It Affected Education - Essay Example

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NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND The ‘No Child Left Behind’ act of 2001 was passed and transformed into legislation under George Bush’s administration in 2002. It reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education act. The act virtually affected every public school in America and increased the role of federal government in the education system…
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The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and How It Affected Education
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The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and How It Affected Education

The act suggested the following changes; Annual Testing: States were required to begin testing students from grades three to eight annually on reading, mathematics and science by 2008. These tests had to follow state academic standard. Moreover, in order to compare the states, every state was required to present a sample of fourth and eighth graders to participate in the National Assessment of Educational Progress testing program. Academic Progress: In order to monitor the progress of an educational institution, “states were required to bring all students up to the "proficient" level on state tests by the 2013-14 school year. Individual schools had to meet state "adequate yearly progress" targets” ("No child left," 2004). Report Cards: From the start of 2002-2003 school year, states were required to provide annual report cards of school districts that would show a wide range of information on the performance of schools and achievements of students. Teacher Qualifications: The qualification of teachers for schools was set on a standard basis and by 2005-2006 school year, all the teaching faculty hired had to have “completed at least two years of college, obtained an associate's degree or higher, or passed an evaluation to demonstrate knowledge and teaching ability.” ("No child left," 2004) Reading First: This act created a grant program called “Reading First” to help states organize ““scientific, research based” reading programs for children in grades K-3 (with priority given to high-poverty areas)” ("No child left," 2004). Funding: The act was primarily meant for school districts with higher concentration of underprivileged students. The states were given flexibility in allocating resources for the programs they were required to initiate. The act was subject to hot debate since its enactment as people from the education sector were concerned with its feasibility. The controversial debate rose to an issue that had to be addressed. The act has its ups and downs. The comparison of its pros and cons can enable us to critically analyze the depth of its impact. The act affected the education system in many positive ways. Factors that affected the US education system positively are the necessary components of a good assessment system. First and foremost is the accountability factor. The act held teachers and states accountable for the development and progress of the students. Report cards and Academic-progress monitoring were specifically conditioned for this purpose. The ultimate purpose of this act was to improve the education by bringing in the necessary reforms such as “reading first” and “annual testing”. This act provided equal opportunity to students, implying that every student could participate in his/her own intellectual development through the initiated programs. Another lucrative factor of this act was the standard for teachers to enter the teaching profession. Teachers have to pass a certified test (GACE) in order to teach. As a result of this clause the quality of teaching has improved. With the help of report cards, schools were graded relative to the adequate yearly progress target. If these schools fail to achieve the set target for two years straight, students would be offered choices of other public schools and if a school fails to achieve the set target for continued years than it can even face correctional measures. The last mentionable ... Read More
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