The elementary and secondary education act was updated by the new child behind act in 2002. Later, President George Bush signed the act into law at a high school in Ohio on January 8, 2002. The goal of this education act was to develop students’ assessment of basic skills. If schools did so, they would receive federal school funding, and if not, then the federal budget went away.
The primary advantage of the no child left behind act was that it allowed each state in the US to develop its achievement standards. No child behind act emphasises annual testing for those skills, keeps tracking academic process for individual students, and improves teacher qualifications.
The disadvantage of the no child behind act is that corrections take too long to implement. Two successive years of missing targets would require a 2-year improvement plan and the school to correct the problem. Students would also be allowed to transfer to a better school in the district.
The third consecutive year forced the school to offer free tutoring, and at the age of 4 years, students would be required to spend more time in class, and staff can be replaced. However, no doubt that the no child behind act was altered in 2015; there are still some pros and cons that need to be examined.
Pros of no child behind:
The most cited pros of no child behind are as under.
1) Add structure to educational programs worldwide:
Although the states set the standards, no child behind became one of the first concentrated efforts to improve US students’ standing compared to the rest of the world. Moreover, by creating standardized testing results and students could be compared via performance to identify learning gaps. It also allows more students to receive individual plans to improve their learning opportunities.
2) Hold teachers and administrators accountable for student performance:
Before the no child behind act came, it was easy to write off some kids as bad learners or trouble makers. Using standardized testing requirements applying to everyone, the main goal was to provide each student with a learning opportunity that suited them.
On the other hand, if administrators and teachers provide that opportunity that suited them, and if not, then legislation might offer remedies that would benefit students.
3) Social gaps influence legislation:
The overall goal of the no child behind act is to provide students in disadvantaged areas with equal opportunity to learn as compared to other students in the US.
Children with special needs could receive detailed IEPS, and low-income families receive it without a significant budget commitment. Bilingual teachers were brought into communities where English was not the native language.
4) Provide equal contribution and improve test scores:
Even in school culture, there exists majority vs minority culture in place and by providing minorities with similar assistance. Students could learn more about one another, and they also get to know about different cultures and ethnicities in the safety of the classroom.
Moreover, learner support also includes information about different cultures and processes that allow every student to feel like they are already contributing an equal share.
Thus for the US as a whole, the no child left behind act was implemented in 2002, and test scores for minorities have shown some of the highest levels of growth since its first installation.
No doubt, test score improvements have been happening since 1980, and some may argue that NCLB has no influence on this trend and has not hurt test scores either.
5) Provides parents with a better understanding of schooling options:
Many of the parents have their public school assigned to them based on their current address, and using the no child behind the act; families came to know that they have more options than assigned schools. They can also transfer their students to districts to the best school if there was room, and they could also go to chartered schools if neighbourhoods were comparatively bad.
While in some areas, students were allowed to go to different school districts to get a higher and better education. The overall process will enable parents to make better decisions because now they have more information.
Cons of no child behind act:
Just like pros, the no child behind act also has some cons.
1) Tie student performance to teacher salaries:
If students don’t perform well in their studies, then teachers receive poor remarks on their annual review. Just because students are underperforming, that offers the potential of losing a raise or even a job.
Since teachers have no control over who is assigned to their classroom, many feel that process keeps them teaching. To protect their livelihood, they were forced to teach to the test. This process ends up wounding up while hurting many learning opportunities instead to help students.
2) Best students ignored and worst students discarded:
If students could pass standardized tests, then don’t understand the school work, then administrators pass the buck on achievers. Parents were given homework and proper instructions so that the grades of students can approach acceptance level.
Administrators and teachers pay less attention to students with lower grades. The idea was that students with the best performance would pass and with the worst qualities would not make it anyway. This means that classrooms focused on teaching a core group of students that could make the grade while leaving other students.
3) Create teacher shortage and chance goal of learning:
In a large urban area, strict teaching requirements are not of any issue, and there is a large enough population base to find necessary instructors. While in small rural communities, the shortages of teachers become a real-time problem, and it is an issue that still many districts are plaguing.
Specific subject areas are facing shortages as well. In the past, the grasp of material being learned was one of the essential parts of the school day; after no child behind the act, the focus shifts to teaching students how to take standardized tests properly. This also created a limited range of knowledge for an entire generation of students and knew enough to pass the test.
Listed above are the most cited pros and cons of the no child behind the act.