Even before its passing, the No Child Left Behind Act generated controversy. According to political analyst David S. Broder, in a quote from the book entitled No Child Left Behind, the No Child Left Behind Act “may well be the most important piece of federal education legislation in thirty-five years.”(1) This act was put into place to ensure that all students were being held to the same standards. The National Education Association states that this act “holds states, districts, and schools strictly accountable for bringing the test scores of students- including the poor, minority, and Limited English Proficiency students- up to state standards.” (5) States, educational districts, and individual schools should be accountable for students meeting certain standards. This accountability seems logical, however it has sparked much debate. BACKGROUND According to Paul E. Peterman and Martin R. West, the authors of the book No Child Left Behind? , the No Child Left Behind Act was signed in January of 2002 by the President George W. Bush. (1) The law was set so that “under its terms, every state, to receive federal aid, must put into place a set of standards together with a detailed testing plan designed to make sure the standards are being met” (Peterman and West 1). The No Child Left Behind Act was the reauthorization of another act which was known as the Education and Secondary Education Act. (nea.org) The Education and Secondary Education Act, according to Barbara Mantel, the author of the article “No Child Left Behind”, has since “ 1 965 has tried to raise the academic performance of all students.” President George W. Bush plan for this reauthorized act was to provide “every child in America with an equal chance” (NEA 4). When the No Child Left Behind Act was debated in Congress, it was very controversial, just as it was everywhere else. There was a large debate as to what would actually help to
provide a better quality education for America’s youth. Both parties did agree that there needed to be changes carried out, but Mantel states that there also needed to be various “political compromises” made between the two parties before the act could be passed by Congress. “Congress f inally passed The No Child Left Behind Act after nearly a year of intense debate and political horse-trading, which included the elimination of private school vouchers, increases in funding and, significantly, addition of a provision requiring that all students reach proficiency in math and reading in 12 years.” (Mentel) The No Child Left Behind Act states that standardized would be used to measure student success to academic standards. According to Peterson and West, The No Cild Left Behind Act was “premised on the notion that standardize tests can and do measure an important dimension of educational quality”. (3) According to Mantel all students from grade levels three through eight will be tested with these set standardized tests, plus an additional testing once in the high school level.
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- Spring '13
- No child left behind Act, Standardized test, Child Left, Left Behind Act