Federal Money and the “No Child Left Behind” law
The “No Child Left Behind Act of 2001,” commonly known as NCLB, is a United States federal law that reauthorizes a number of federal programs that aim to improve the performance of U.S.'s primary and secondary schools. The NCLB Act incorporates the principles and strategies proposed by President Bush. These include increased accountability; greater choice for parents and students; more flexibility in the use of Federal education dollars; and a stronger emphasis on reading.
In exchange for tens and hundreds of millions in increased federal aid, NCLB asked states to: Assess students in grades 3-8, and once during grades 10-12, in ...view middle of the document...
S. Department of Education, detailing their plans for complying with NCLB. The plans describe the various ways that each state will meet NCLB requirements.
By allowing individual states to develop their own definitions of student proficiency we can ensure that the federal government is not mandating a one-size- fits-all approach. NCLB recognizes that the educational issues in New York City may be very different from those in Lincoln, Nebraska. Therefore state variations may exist. It should be noted that the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) will provide a uniform measure by which to judge the assessment systems of various states. Under NCLB, a small, randomly chosen sample of students in each state participates in NAEP periodically. The results are compared among states to verify that the progress being shown on the state-designed tests taken by all students is real.
NAEP is the only nationally representative, continuing assessment of what Americas students know and can do in various subject areas. While most states participated in NAEP prior to NCLB, beginning with the 2002-2003 school year, NCLB required biannual state participation in NAEP reading and math assessments for 4th and 8th grade students, so long as the U.S. Department of Education pays the costs of administering those assessments.. NCLB, it should be noted, explicitly bans anything resembling a national or federal test for all students. Under NCLB, states design the tests to be taken by all students, not the federal government.
NAEP can be used as a benchmark in order to determine if state developed assessments are measuring the factors they are intended to calculate. For example, if 80 percent of a state’s students score proficiently on a state developed assessment, but only 40 percent score well on NAEP, then that state may want to evaluate their assessment in order to determine if it is rigorous enough. There are no federal rewards or sanctions based on a state’s NAEP scores. The purpose of state participation in NAEP is to provide a confirmation, or verification, of state assessment systems and data.
AYP is a state developed measure of progress for all local educational agencies (local school districts) and schools in the state. Under NCLB, a state’s definition of AYP must apply specifically to disadvantaged subgroups of students, as well as to the overall student population. This expectation will serve to hold schools and districts accountable for improving the performance of disadvantaged students and to help educators, parents, and others determine whether progress is being made in closing the achievement gap.
States must define AYP so that all students are expected to improve and that by 2014 all students will achieve at the state defined “proficient” level on state reading and math academic assessments. States set the starting point, or achievement “bar,” to reach 100 percent proficiency, but may choose where to set the...