No Chiild Left Behind

No Child Left Behind

No Child Left Behind

On January 8, 2002, George W Bush sat at a desk with the media all a buzz. Photographers’ cameras flashed and clicked as they snapped picture after picture. News reporters filled the room as the President of the United States sat at a teacher’s desk. No this was not an ordinary story book reading in a classroom of young minds, it was much more. As the President arranged himself among a group of senators the room was silent in anticipation of what was to come. The signing of a new law, The No Child Left Behind Act.

“For those of you who have studied the history of our government, you know most bills are signed at the White House. But I decided to sign this bill in one of the most important places in America -- a public school.” (http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/01/20020108-1.html.) These are just some of the words spoken by George W. Bush on that day that changed education in America forever.

Within the No Child Left Behind Act there are many goals that every school in America must achieve. One of these goals is to have highly qualified teachers. Highly qualified teachers must have a bachelors’ degree and they must also show expertise in their field of study. For example, a high school English teacher must know English and grammar well enough to be considered an expert in the subject. One more qualification for teachers is that they must pass state certification and licensing. Elementary teachers must show their knowledge in reading, language arts, writing, mathematics and basic elementary skills. Secondary teachers must prove that they have high competency for the level of the subject being taught. Teachers that are already employed can prove they are highly qualified through a high objective uniform state standard of evaluation. Basically a highly qualified teacher is someone whom contains a high level of knowledge in their teaching area.

Another law made with the No Child Left Behind Act is how schools receive federal and state funding. These financial grants and programs can be obtained only through testing of the students. Every year students are required to participate in testing of their skills. All of these skills are different from grade level to grade level. Each State has their own form of testing for the students. The state of Illinois requires every student to take the Illinois Standards Achievements Test and the Prairie State Achievements Examination. Illinois tracks progress from year to year. This is called annual yearly progress. Illinois also has a goal of each student meeting or exceeding standards by 2014. Each and every state must have a program like this in place and it has to be approved by the Department of Education. The requirements for these examinations and tracking their progress are so vigorous that some states still do not have approval for their testing.

“The Education Department has approved the testing plans of 31 states. Another four states and the District of Columbia are making final changes that the department requested. Department officials expect those five plans to be approved by the end of this school year,” Ms. Briggs said. (http://search.ebscohost.com.library.icc.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eric&AN=EJ798155&site=ehost-live.)

Proving to put these two elements of the No Child Left Behind Act together can be difficult. Highly qualified teachers must be able to adapt their classroom environment and teaching techniques to help students achieve the highest possible scores on their testing. Teachers must find a way to help students remember different elements of learning throughout the year. Not only do teachers have to help the students but they also have to stay current with the act and all its provisos. The state of Illinois has a website that provides information teachers need to stay up to date with No Child Left Behind (http://www.isbe.net/nclb/default.htm).

Although the United States Congress thought that this law would be a great success, many educators and politicians are against it. One reason is that teachers are teaching the tests and not furthering students understanding of each subject. Another reason is that not all students handle testing the same way. For example there are students that can ace tests on the first try and other students that can’t handle the anxiety of testing and score poorly. There are these protests but there are also many supporters of No Child Left Behind. They argue that students are learning more in depth about each subject and that every child is given the same opportunity to learn.

Overall, No Child Left Behind is a law written for the children. It has been in debates for the past six and a half years but there is one great thing about it. All the test scores show that children are retaining their knowledge, and schools are receiving their federal and state funding. Most states have implemented testing programs and passed their highly qualified teachers demand. Education in the United States has turned a new leaf and children and teachers are learning together everyday.

“Our schools will have higher expectations. We believe every child can learn. Our schools will have greater resources to help meet those goals. Parents will have more information about the schools, and more say in how their children are educated. From this day forward, all students will have a better chance to learn, to excel, and to live out their dreams” said George W. Bush on the No Child Left Behind Act, Jan, 8, 2002. (http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/01/20020108-1.html)

Works Cited

"List of State Achievement Tests In The United States." Wikipedia. 24 Sept. 2008. The Free Encyclopedia. 24 Sept. 2008 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/list_of_state_achievement_tests_in_the_united_states

Hoff, David J. "Steep Climb to NCLB Goal for 23 States." Education Week 27.39 (04 June 2008): . ERIC. EBSCO. [Library name], [City], [State abbreviation]. 25 Sep. 2008 http://search.ebscohost.com.library.icc.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eric&AN=EJ798155&site=ehost-live.

"No Child Left Behind/ Adequate Yearly Progress." Illinois Board of Education. May 2007. Illinois Board of Education. 20 Sept. 2008 http://www.isbe.net/ayp/default.htm

Office of the Press Secretary, ed. "President Signs Landmark No Child Left Behind Education Bill." The White House. 08 Jan. 2002. United States Government. 22 Sept. 2008 http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/01/20020108-1.html.

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