No Child Left Behind Overhaul Needed
The "No Child Left Behind" (NCLB) law passed in 2002 had a two-fold purpose – to dramatically reduce achievement gaps and boost performance. It has done neither, and with NCLB overdue for reauthorization, there is growing consensus that its punitive provisions are hurting rather than helping the effort to improve education. However, the law remains in effect since Congress can’t agree on how to change it.
The National Education Association (NEA), the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) and the National School Boards Association (NSBA) have ALL warned that the nation’s schools are headed for a “train wreck” due to runaway NCLB formulas that bear no relationship to reality and no state-to-state consistency.
That’s because under NCLB, it is estimated that between 75 and 82 percent of America’s schools will be labeled as “failing” this year. The administration is pointing to these numbers as evidence that the law needs to be changed. “What we’re doing to measure success and failure is out of line,” according to President Barack Obama. He called on Congress to change the law which requires that 100 percent of students in the United States be “proficient” in math and language arts by 2014. To accomplish that goal, schools must raise their proficiency rates until they reach the target.
No country has ever come close to 100 percent proficiency, but when the law was passed in 2001, the target seemed far in the future. However, 2014 is quickly approaching so states must increase their standards every year and impose penalties on schools that are deemed as “failing.”
To remedy this situation, a “Flexibility Bill” is now under consideration but will fail to protect funding for America’s students who are most vulnerable. Learn why