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Charters and Choice

How can we give students options when their public schools are failing them?

Overview

Candidate Perspectives

College Access

College: Can't afford not to go, can't afford to go...

Overview

Candidate Perspectives

 

The Dropout Dilemma

What are the real costs of dropping out?

Overview

Candidate Perspectives

No Child Left Behind

What exactly is NCLB and how is it effecting our education system?

Overview

Pros and Cons

What's Next?

Candidate Perspectives

Early Childhood Education

How do we ensure that all children are prepared to enter kindergarten?

Overview

In Focus: Head Start

Candidate Perspectives

Teachers

Why are we struggling to recruit and retain teachers? What reforms do the candidates propose to solve the teacher shortage and improve their working conditions?

Overview

Candidate Perspectives

School-to-Work

With a struggling economy, should lawmakers place further emphasis on federally-funded school-to-work programs? Moreover, do they work?

Overview

Candidate Perspectives

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No Child Left Behind

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  General Overview  
  • The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) was signed into law on January 8, 2002 with overwhelming support from both the Democratic and Republican parties.
  • The Act was passed in an attempt to increase accountability and school achievement throughout the nation.
  • NCLB is the most recent revision and extension of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The 1956 Act was the first instance in which the federal government provided substantial funding of K-12 public education.
  • Through NCLB the Bush Administration has been credited with increasing federal education funding by 40%. 
  • NCLB is structured around the annual proficiency testing and reporting of each public school district throughout the nation.
  • The Act was up for reauthorization in 2007 and currently a number of reforms have been suggested aimed to increase its effectiveness and each states flexibilities in carrying out the requirements.
 

NCLB was created based on four basic principles:

 
 

1. Increased academic accountability of schools

  • Aims to actively close the achievement gap and ensure that all students are able to receive the education and outside aid needed to achieve academic proficiency.
  • If schools fail to meet the proficiency levels outlined by the state they must provide additional resources to its students to ensure they can succeed.   If the schools fall below the identified proficiency level for more than five years in a row, then the administration and general functioning of the school must be adjusted.

2. Give increased control to local and state control districts

  • Allows state and local level leaders to have greater control in their use of federal funds.  This allows local administrators to fund programs that meet the unique needs of their districts.

3. Increase the funding to academic programs that have been proven successful through intensive “scientific research”

  • Federal funding is provided to support and encourage scientifically proven educational programs a school uses.

4. Provide parents with increased flexibility in school choice

  • If a school fails to meet state standards, parents are given the option of attending a school of their choice.  The district must provide the student with transportation to and from the new school.
  • In schools that fail to meet state standards for at least three years, the students from low-income families are eligible to receive supplemental educational services such as tutoring, after-school services, and summer school.
  • Students who attend a persistently dangerous school or are the victim of a violent crime while in their school have the option to attend a safe school within their district.
 
  Goals of NCLB:  
 
  • To close the existing achievement gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students
  • By the end of the 3rd grade, all students will reach reading proficiency.  This should be accomplished by the 2013 - 2014 school year
  • By the 2013 –2014 school year, all students will achieve proficiency before their High School graduation.
  • To provide a highly qualified teacher for every core academic subject.
 
  Requirements of NCLB:  
 
  • Annual testing of all students against the states' reading and math standards in grades 3 through 8 and in science at three times within a student's school career (including once in high school).
  • Verification of each state's assessment system via assessment of selected state districts every other year in the NAEP test.
  • The complete analysis and reporting of student achievement results.
  • A state definition and timeline for determining whether a school, district, and the state are making adequate yearly progress (AYP) toward the goal of 100 percent of students meeting the designated standards by the 2013 – 2014 school year.
  • Technical assistance followed by sanctions for schools, districts, and the state for failure to meet AYP.
  • All teachers of the core academic subjects must be highly-qualified by 2005 – 2006.
  • State and school employment of highly-qualified aides or paraprofessionals.
  • Support provided for students who are not meeting the state standards and / or for those who have special needs (e.g., homeless, limited–English proficiency).
  • The use of scientifically-based educational programs and strategies.

For more information, visit http://www.pbs.org/newshour/indepth_coverage/education/no_child/basics.html
or http://www.ed.gov/nclb/overview/intro/4pillars.html.

 

Click here to view a state by state listing of schools not making adequate yearly progress and identified as needing improvement.

 
 

See Pros and Cons of NCLB

See What's Next for NCLB

View Candidiate Perspectives on NCLB