No Child Left Behind Act and Its Meaning for Education

Introduction

The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) is an act that was passed by Congress in the United States to cater to public education. The administration of President George W. Bush came up with the idea of the act and gained great support from other individuals and groups. The bill was passed by the United States Senate and the House of Representatives in 2001 while President George W. Bush signed it into law on January 8, 2002. Since then, the act has had a great effect on public school classrooms.

It affects areas such as the contents that the students are taught, the examinations that these students take, the expertise of the teachers based on the training they receive and the way in which the government spends money on education. All students who have been exposed to the act have improved their performance including those that are disadvantaged. The act was initially legislated for five years after which the government was to reauthorize it. There has been a major debate on the act and since the expiry date in 2007, it has been undergoing temporal extensions but not yet reauthorized. The No Child Left Behind Act has many positive impacts on students and should therefore be reauthorized.

Improved Students Performance

The No Student Left behind Act should be reauthorized because it has led to improved performance of students attending public schools. Following the introduction of the No Child Left Behind Act, the results of students in public institutions show improved performance. The results that were released by the national assessment of educational progress in 2005 showed improvement particularly in mathematics and reading where many students had previously really failed (Urquhart 7).

From the results, students who were nine years could read with ease. After the implementation of the act, the scores obtained by nine years students were the highest. The highest mathematics score that was ever recorded was obtained after the implementation of the act. The act also catered for the less fortunate in society. Nine-year-old students from the black and Hispanic communities also improved their performance in English and mathematics.

The act reduced the big gap that existed between the performance of white students and students from other minority communities. In general, the performance of fourth and eighth-grade students improved. This is because the act required teachers to set high standards and establish measurable goals that will help improve the performance of any student. Reauthorization of the act will keep the performance of the students high.

Improved Local Standards

The NCLB act has led to improved standards in the local government. Before the introduction of the act, the local governments ran a system that was not effective and did nothing to counter the declining performance of students. For example, teachers could be allocated subjects in which they have no expertise. This leads to failure because the teacher may not have the necessary knowledge to deliver to the students.

As a result of the system by the local governments, the federal government was forced to intervene and thereby introduced the NCLB act (Mizell 4). This saw great improvements in the performance of students in all states that implemented the program. Local governments did not cater to the needs of the special students such as the ones that are mentally disturbed and those that are emotionally disturbed. NCLB is a system that incorporates all students including the disabled and those who are economically unstable. This gives all students equal chances and provides them with the necessities that facilitate learning.

The act also provides for a model where the progress of a student is monitored at the end of every year. If the student does not improve, the teacher tries to identify the cause of it and tries to help the student to catch up with the others. The introduction of the No Child Left Behind Act has led to improved performance of all students in all the states in the United States. This has positively affected the performance of all students including the whites, blacks, Hispanics, emotionally affected, economically unstable, disabled, and all others. This is a clear indication that it should be reauthorized.

Increased Accountability

The legislation of the NCLB led to increased accountability on part of the teachers, students, and parents. In the act, teachers are charged with several responsibilities that help students improve their performance. All public schools are required to give standardized tests to students so as to gauge their performance. The standard tests are mandated by the federal government and they are used to show the achievements of the act.

For the teachers to prove that they are performing, they take it as their responsibility to help the students understand so that they perform. The act connects the academic content standards of the state to the performance of the student. This way, the state achieves its goals to help the students perform well. The provision of the act to measure students’ performance helps improve overall performance. The teachers are required to give standardized tests to students in art, science and mathematics. The act also provides for the progress of a student in reading and mathematics to be measured annually from grades three through eight (Olivert 23).

Through the act, parents are able to follow the performance of his or her child using the report that the state provides to the parents. This will force teachers to work hard so that they are not blamed for the poor performance of students. It involves the teachers, parents and children in the learning process. The support of the three will improve performance. This calls for the government to reauthorize the act.

The Minority Populations

NCLB has been very useful to the minority groups in the United States. The act expects all students receiving a similar system of education to give similar output. This helps reduce the gap that has existed between the performance of the white students and the performance of students from the minority groups such as blacks and Hispanics. The act calls for schools and districts to pay attention to disadvantaged students so as to help them overcome these disadvantages (Bostrom 5).

Such students include students with disabilities, students belonging to low-income earners, those from major ethnic and racial subgroups and others. This gives these students the opportunity to compete with the others. In general, the performance of all the students goes up. The huge gaps that existed between the best students in a class and the poorly performing students get reduced.

Improved Quality of Education

The NCLB was legislated so as to help improve the performance of the students. Improved performance on part of the students implies the improved quality of education. The call for the schools to implement scientifically based research helps improve the quality of instructions given to students (North Central Regional Educational Laboratory 11). For students who will not join colleges, the teachers are encouraged to provide professional based activities that can arm the students with some skills that can help them later.

The act creates a situation where students know to read at a very young age. It encourages students to concentrate on those subjects that affect them most in life. The students have a choice to relocate to schools that are performing well if their current schools are not performing very well. All these factors lead to an improved level of education and NCLB should therefore be reauthorized.

Funds

When the federal government introduced the NCLB, they provided large amounts of funds to support it. The funds were meant to support both elementary and secondary education. Some more funds to help in the implementation of technology in learning were also introduced (GAO 6). All these were meant to improve the quality of education offered to students. The funds were used appropriately for the benefit of the students, the parents and the government. There is each and every reason as to why the No Child Left Behind Act should be reauthorized.

Conclusion

The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) was passed in 2002 so as to improve the performance of students in public schools. It was initially legislated for five years after which the government was to reauthorize it. It expired in 2002 but kept on being extended but not renewed. The benefits attached to the act are reasonable enough for it to be reauthorized. Since its legislation, the performance of all students has greatly improved. It has helped the local governments to improve standards in their states.

The implementation of the act has led to increased accountability especially on part of the teachers. One of the major advantages of the implementation of the act is the fact that it caters to the minorities in the societies. This helps reduce the gap in the performance of such students in comparison to the performance of white students. It has also led to overall improved quality of education.

Works Cited

Bostrom, Meg. Fulfilling the Promise of No Child Left Behind: A MetaAnalysis of Attitudes Towards Public Education. 2003. Web.

GAO, No Child Left Behind Act: Report to Congressional Requestors. 2005. Web.

Mizell, Hayes. NCLB: Conspiracy, Compliance, or Creativity. 2003. Web.

North Central Regional Educational Laboratory, Critical Issue: Using Scientifically Based research to Guide educational Decisions. 2010. Web.

Olivert, Damian. P. No Child Left Behind: Text, Interpretation and Changes. New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc. 2007. Print.

Urquhart, Steve. No Child Left Behind. 2005. Web.