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No Child Left Behind Act

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The controversial "No Child Left Behind Act" has caused much debate about the validity

of the program and its effectiveness. As a parent of a high school senior, I can relate the

condition of the elementary school that my son attended. I was appalled by the appearance of the

facility; the desks were broken; there was a puddle of standing water in the walkway and the

roof was leaking into numerous buckets all over the classroom. The conditions that I witnessed

were definitely not conductive to learning. I was confused because my property taxes were then

nearly $5,000 a year; I understand the property taxes determine the quality of the schools in an

area, but why can't all of the schools be given the same amount of funding? I was then told that

since I reside in a primarily low income area, the schools are substandard. I wasn't told this by

my realtor and I was not pleased about this fact. This same elementary school is in danger of

closing because the county doesn't have the funding to keep it open. That is a sad story for the

children, normally, living near a school brings up the property values, but given the current state

of our economy, that doesn't make it difference. But when I travel across town to the schools

near the mall, the lawns are green and immaculate and the building looks freshly painted.

I am a strong believer that your environment impacts your belief in your abilities and your

performance. In my former position, we were responsible for supervising the students to

maintain the appearance of our schoolhouse. But in the public sector, how much funding is there

for a janitorial service to keep the school clean and orderly?

In recent years, people concerned about making schools better have increasingly looked for

improvements that would not only improve average levels of learner Performances but would

also ensure that learners in each subgroup of the school population are

well served. (e.g., Armstrong, D., & Henson, K.T., & Savage, T.V., 2009).

In one of his key campaign speeches, Illinois Senator and Democratic presidential

Candidate Barack Obama met with The Des Moines Register. Obama talks about "No Child

Left Behind" legislation and how he thinks the bill needs to be changed and improved in order to

be reauthorized. The basic terms of the "No Child Left Behind" law mandated that states give

students in grades 3-8 an annual assessment in math and reading. In 10 years, all students are

required to test as "proficient." Overall test scores at individual schools must increase for all

students and for low-income students, minorities and other subgroups. Any school that receives

federal Title I funding and misses the target scores two years in a row, students must be offered a

choice of other public schools to attend. If a school fails to improve three years in a row, students

must be offered vouchers good for extra help, including private tutoring. The Teachers in these

schools must be fired and the school will be turned into a Charter School and be ran by the

Parents. This is the situation in my son's high school right now. I am very disheartened about

this situation, because my son is negatively affected. If the school closes, then where will the

funding come from to bus the children to a new school? Will that be a better school? What if that

school closes as well? The legislation states that Teachers in core content areas must be "highly

qualified," certified and knowledgeable about the subject matter taught. The law funds "research-

based" reading programs for elementary students.

Pros and Cons of the No Child Left Behind Act

I am a Fan for the revision of the Act, but detractors disagree on whether the No Child Left

Behind Act helps raise educational standards or impedes them. While no one is against

higher educational standards, measuring progress and holding schools accountable, the heart of

the debate is whether the requirements of the NCLB realistically help to accomplish these goals,

or whether it impedes them.


1. My son's school has sent out many pamphlets and brochures about the dire situation of

their pending Charter School status. We have attended many meetings and a final

decision has not been made. During these meetings we were told that the NCLB began

with Lyndon Johnson's Elementary and Secondary Education Act. This current

incarnation was proposed by President Bush after he took office in 2001, it became law

in January 2002. The ultimate goal of the NCLB Act is for all children to demonstrate

achievement at least equal to their grade level by the year 2014. This is a problem for

lower income and learning challenged children that start out behind the other children.

Different methods of presenting the subject matter must be implemented. In one of my




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