What is Wrong with No Child Left Behind? – Why NCLB Leaves Every Child in the Dust
If you are a parent, there are few things in life that are more important to you than your child. You want the best for them and will do anything in your power to make sure that they get the best. This includes their education. Over the better part of the last decade, our educational system has been governed by the “No Child Left Behind” Act of 2001. This bill was enacted as a law on January 8, 2002 by then President George W. Bush. It received great bipartisan support and was, at the time, heralded as a great reform to a failing educational system.
No Child Left Behind, or NCLB as it is commonly called, has its basis on the belief that the setting of high standards and measurable goals, can result in improvements on individual educational results. Under this law, each state is required to come up with their own standards, which they are then required to provide every student with the means to meet. Although this sounds like a great and sensible way to approach our educational system, the truth is that developing a “one size fits all” approach to teaching is guaranteed to fail at least some of the students all of the time.
Teachers have protested against No Child Left Behind, because it limits the things that they have time to teach over the course of the school year and also dictates the way in which it can be taught. With a specific checklist of things to cover, teachers are pressured to push their students along, even if they do not fully grasp the concepts that they have been taught. These mandates also prevent teachers from being able to more fully explore the topics that their students are interested in. When they do have students that are falling behind, teachers are also not allowed to group them with other children that are also struggling. Classroom leveling is not allowed under NCLB.
Although the concept and ideal behind No Child Left Behind was good, its execution has left a lot to be desired. Rather than ensuring that each student succeeds by playing to their individual strengths, NCLB requires every student to conform to the same learning style and standards in order to be considered a success. By doing this, we are actually doing our children a disservice. If we would just allow our teachers to do what they do best, and let them teach our children everything that they actually need to know, our individual students would be more educationally fulfilled. Therefore, let prents be on guard and keeping abreast of what is happening in the education process. The material below could assist in these efforts.
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