The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) comes up for renewal next year. Educators voice growing concern over the federal law's impact and the rising number of schools facing sanctions.
More than 23,000 schools, a quarter of all public schools, failed to meet their NCLB test targets this year. Growing numbers will face the now-familiar NCLB sanctions of student transfers and supplemental tutoring. Many schools also face penalties of "restructuring." That means state or private takeover, or other major reorganization.
Critics of NCLB cite lack of funding to meet mandates, vagueness in the 1100-page legislation and questions as to whether the law has actually fostered improved student achievement. Stan Karp examines the issues for Rethinking Schools magazine.
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In 2002, President Bush signed into law the most sweeping educational reform law since the Elementary and Secondary Education Act was first enacted in 1965. Authors of the legislation say it is designed to improve student achievement and change the culture of America’s schools.
NCLB passed with bipartisan support. The statute addresses four principles of education reform:
- stronger accountability for results
- increased flexibility and local control
- expanded options for parents
- emphasis on teaching methods that are proven to work
There are five nationwide goals for all children:
- proficiency in reading and math by the 2013-2014 school year
- English proficiency for limited English proficient students
- qualified teachers in every classroom by 2005-2006
- safe and drug-free learning environments
- high school graduation for all students
Related: U.S. Department of Education, National Education Association
Tags: NCLB, No Child Left Behind, School Reform, Education Policy, Student Achievement, K-12, Public School Education, Education by Sistrunk