When Should NCLB Be Evaluated?

The role of the national government in education is limited due to the Tenth Amendment. This has been tested in its fullest capacity by federal educational policies that have come out of Washington. No Child Left Behind, a federal education act that was signed by President Bush in 2001 has left the nation divided of how this policy will help the American education system. The policy was met within its conception with diverse disagreement and as the policy is implemented and evaluated, more and more people are finding fault with the policy and the goals that the policy set for states to follow (Lukas, 2006).

According to the No Child Left Behind recommendations task force of 2005, an immediate evaluation of the policy of having US public schools up to 100% proficiency by 2014 should be conducted. They state though the goal is admirable, the re-evaluation should be conducted to see if it is in practice, attainable. They argue that methods to reach this goal could leave states and districts at a risk for litigations because the state or district cannot find adequate resources to reach that goal. Many states are becoming reactive instead of proactive when a school fails the goals set by NCLB.

White (2009) quotes Ted Kennedy, who is on the Senate Education Committee Chair and a huge supporter of No Child Left Behind, by stating, “"The tragedy is that these long overdue reforms are finally in place, but the funds are not.” This eludes that the evaluation should take place soon because the lack of funds to meet the requirements of No Child Left Behind may leave some states without funds for essential public services. This will leave the federal policy up for more scrutiny when the public realizes that the funds for the services they are used to receiving are being diverted to the public school systems.

A survey conducted by Fitzgerald (2008) calls for the policy to be evaluated immediately. He argues that No Child Left Behind has caused a vacuum of teachers because of the mandate that all teachers be highly qualified. Though left for the states to decide the definition of highly qualified, teachers and districts in some states cannot meet the requirements. Either because of lack of funds or time left before retirement, many teachers feel that the extra requirements are not worth the money and time to keep a job they have held for many years. This causes some teachers to leave their jobs and places a bigger demand on teachers that are willing to suffer through the regiment to stay employed.

Reference:

Fitzgerald, J. (2007). The teacher’s voice: A survey of teacher’s attitudes toward NCLB. Macalester College Political Science “Empirical Research Methods Class” Fall 2007. Retrieved on August 17, 2009 from http://www.scribd.com/doc/

Lukas, C. (2006). Leaving behind bad federal education policy: NCLB has to go. National Review Online. Retrieved on August 13, 2009 from http://article.nationalreview.com

Recommendations Task Force. (2005). Key recommendations from NCSL Task Force on No Child Left Behind (NCLB) final report. Retrieved on August 13, 2009 from http://www.stand.org/Document.Doc?id=588

White, D. (2009) Pros and cons of No Child Left Behind. U.S. Liberal Politics. Retrieved on August 17, 2009 from http://usliberals.about.com/od/education/i/NCLBProsCons_2.htm

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