Teacher Tips > What is No Child Left Behind?

What is No Child Left Behind?

Teacher Tips

Passed by the US President of the time, George Bush, the No Child Left Behind Act was passed in 2001 as an initiative to give all children the chance to succeed on an academic level. It was established with the intention of enabling the most positive outcomes to be achieved - by everyone, regardless of their current position and ability levels. Let's take a look at the main points of the act, as well as the impact it is has had on education in the United States as of yet.

Educational reform was of the essence in 2001, when the No Child Left Behind Act was first passed. The official documents relating to the widely appreciated and praised scheme - established the year after its initial 'thumbs-up' - described it as something that would encourage high standards in education, relying upon the implementation of reasonable goals relative to an individual's progress and existing targets.

Teachers across the nation welcomed additional funding to cover the costs and support the development of new and improved assessments, used to measure fundamental skills. The execution of these refreshed examination methods is reliant upon individual states receiving sufficient federal funding to participate.

As well as the newly developed assessments, leaders of the No Child Left Behind innovation claimed they intended for all children to be proficient readers and mathematicians by 2014 - an ambitious target, to say the least, but certainly achievable with the correct approach.

Adequate yearly progress will be measured by schools that are part of the scheme, and requires each state to draw up targets based on local attainment. For those states and schools that fail to comply with set targets, some foreboding consequences await.

If, for two consecutive years, a school fails to make adequate yearly progress, they will be defined as in need of improvement. If this lack of substantial progression continues, further sanctions will be made, with students being given escape routes to other, better performing schools in the area.

After a five year period with little or no progress being made in spite of Government intervention, the accused school may be requested to make some dramatic changes. Potentially, the staff team could be re-shaped, alongside other intensive 'corrective' methods.

Although there are some nasty side effects for under-performing institutions, these are all for a reason: to improve the standard of education for all US citizens, giving them enhanced opportunities for success as adults. Parents of struggling students may find particular hope as a result of the scheme, with extra help being offered to their children should it be deemed necessary.

Spotting struggling students is far easier than before, with annual assessments being carried out. A good idea this is, as it relieves parents of some of their worries - if their child has a learning difficulty, it will probably be detected before extreme deterioration occurs.

With the basic points addressed, the No Child Left Behind Act really does have a whole host of exciting benefits on offer for young people in full time education. Opportunities for success have never been so readily available - and the truth is in the name: no child will be left behind from now on!

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