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ALEXANDER / NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND 201 Consider writing about an aspect of the torture debate or about a different politi- cal issue, such as what, if anything, should be done about the Patriot Act, which expanded the ability of the government to monitor communications and medical and financial records without a court order. Other issues might relate to the govern- ment’s handling of the economy, foreign affairs, health care, and so on. CONSIDERING TOPICS FOR YOUR OWN ESSAY ATHENA ALEXANDER is a sociology major who hopes to become a doctor. When she began work on this essay in her composition class, she did not know anything about the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). She wrote the essay in part to understand what it was all about. On the advice of her instructor, she chose two essays — one by Rod Paige, and one by Reg Weaver — that took sharply different positions on the debate. Before analyzing the essays, however, she did some background research, beginning with the Web site of the U.S. Department of Education. From there, she discovered that to find out what happens to schools that do not show improvement under the requirements of the act, she would have to search the sites of individual state departments of education, which is how she happened to find and quote from the Georgia state Web site. As you read the opening paragraphs of Alexander’s essay, notice how she uses the information she got from these two sources. The two position essays by Rod Paige and Reg Weaver that Alexander uses as the basis of her essay are available on this book’s companion Web site ( bedfordstmartins.com/theguide ). READINGS No Child Left Behind: “Historic Initiative” or “Just an Empty Promise”? Athena Alexander In 2001, an overwhelming bipartisan majority in Congress approved President George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), designed to improve the quality of education in American schools. Under this law, every state must test public school students in grades 3–8 annually to assess their progress in reading and math. The NCLB also sets “adequate yearly progress” (AYP) goals for schools to meet. According to the Executive Summary of the act posted on ED.gov , the U.S. Department of Education’s Web site, “schools that fail to make adequate yearly progress toward statewide proficiency goals will, over time, be subject to improvement, corrective action, and restructuring mea- sures aimed at getting them back on course to meet State standards” (United States). Each state determines how its own failing schools will be handled. For example, according to the Georgia State Department of Education’s Web site, low performing Georgia schools must meet AYP goals within five years. After a school has fallen below the AYP target for two years, school administrators are “required to seek outside expert assistance.” This is also the point at which parents are permitted to transfer their 1 2 05_AXE_53612_CH05_p184-263.indd 201 9/2/09 11:57:32 AM
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  • Spring '10
  • fksuifb
  • No child left behind Act, NCLB, Education in the United States, United States Department of Education, Rod Paige

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