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No Child Left Behind Essay

3917 words - 16 pages

Running head: NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND 1

No Child Left Behind

Deanna Nick

ENG 122: English Composition II

Allison Boldt

February 01, 2015


No Child Left Behind
In 2002 the No Child Left Behind Act was passed in order to ensure quality education for all students in the public schools of the United States. As a piece of both egalitarian and neo-liberal legislation, its aim was to bring quantitative progress to all school-age youth, especially those in lower-achieving schools. No Child Left Behind Act was to achieve this goal by testing students' proficiency in three subjects: math, reading, and science. Through this standardized testing the ...view middle of the document...

Science made it onto the test. Social studies, on the other hand, did not. While most grade school students learn about the president

and the governor, much of the rest of social studies is not a standardized curriculum. Social studies is a broad area of study, one that is too loosely defined to effectively test. For example, while the college entrance test, the ACT, tests in math science, reading, and writing, it does not test in social studies. The SAT, too excludes social studies. Because math, science, and reading are all on the No Child Left Behind tests, they make up a standardized 'core' that all students in the United States have to learn, and because social studies is too difficult a subject to test effectively, it is left out.
The No Child Left Behind is designed to improve achievement in the most important subject area through a system of accountability based on standardized test. “Embedded in high-stakes testing is the assumption that improvements in education will necessarily that improvements in education will necessarily result from accountability and resting.” (Misco). The No Child Left Behind way of ensuring accountability is a system of warnings and consequences for schools that do not show improvement on the state standardized test. In order to pass the No Child Left Behind requirements, and presumably improve education for the students, a school must raise the scores of students in every demographic by a certain percentage every year. Consequences become more serious every year the school fails to meet requirements of Adequate Yearly Process, or AYP. According to the supporters of No Child Left Behind, this system should help raise quality of education by making schools accountable for the progress of their students.
No Child Left Behind fails students and teachers
The system of accountability set up by No Child Left Behind puts pressure on administrators and teachers to spend class time teaching what will be on the test rather than preparing students for future studies. Because schools are at risk of being shut down if their students do not get better at taking test, administrators push teachers to do whatever is necessary to make sure that test scores improve. This leads to pressure to teach only subjects and pressure to teach only test-necessary skills. On the higher

level, schools and school districts are following this trend, taking social studies and other non-NO Child Left Behind subjects out of the curriculum focus. “In Florida, for example, students can purportedly complete their high school education without taking a social studies course and social studies teachers receive fewer professional development opportunities than teachers in other disciplines”; and “if a student attends low-performing elementary and middle-schools in some California districts, they will not have history until they are fifteen or sixteen years old, and all they will...

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