No Child Left Bihind

In: Social Issues

Submitted By Julienkb
Words 1932
Pages 8

Did No Child Left Behind Work?
By Lanae Erickson Hatalsky and Stephenie Johnson | Published: 02/06/15

Are we about to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory? For the first time in more than a decade,
Congress is moving forward on reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act—known in its previous iteration as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). Voices on both sides of the aisle have proposed major changes, including tossing the annual testing requirement for kids in grades 3 through 8, as well as repealing the accountability measures that have allowed the federal government to require states to address failing schools and yawning achievement gaps. There is no doubt that NCLB has problems that should be addressed in a new reauthorization. But before we throw out NCLB and rewind to the policies of the 1990s, we should examine what, if any, effect the era of accountability ushered in by President George W. Bush, late Senator Ted Kennedy (DMA), then-Congressman (now Speaker) John Boehner (R-OH), and retired Congressman George
Miller (D-CA) has had on student achievement.
As we outline below, even a cursory look at the data makes clear that after decades of stagnant scores, the last 15 years of accountability have brought measurable gains for students across the board, and the biggest gains during the NCLB era have been concentrated among the kids who needed them the most. While there are still serious problems to confront and inequities to overcome, for the first time in decades we are on a path towards addressing them. In fact, if another government program was achieving these kinds of results, you would hardly expect to hear discussion of dismantling it.

1. Increasing Performance among All Students
According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the largest nationally

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