Since its inception, the program ‘No Child Left Behind’ (NCLB) has received mixed reactions from various groups. Some are applauding the program while some are cynical about the idea.
The program core mission is to map the education curriculum of different states to know what kids are taught from kindergarten to 12th grade. Afterward, the states perform a chain of examinations to prove that the kids learned.
This is followed by a public report indicating the individual schools Math and English scores (Ravittch, 2009). Schools not showing improvements progressively would be enlisted in a warning list with caution of closure.
Supporting the idea
According to Margaret Spellings, one of the chief framers of NCLB, the benefits of the programs speaks for themselves. He moves to affirm that, so far, the program has recorded huge success. She says “a look at the national statistics, the fruits of this program are conspicuous.
There has been an improvement in essential reading skills especially of fourth graders.”
To support the success made by the program, George Miller, a strong NCLB proponent, believes that the biggest impact of the program is addressing the thorny issue of the achievement gap between poor and middle-class kids (Pipkin, 2013).
He says “for the first time we have practical solutions of how America should educate its kids across the board, from the poor to the rich.”
Significantly those opposed to the program seem not to downplay everything about it. Rather they are pointing some factors they term as “irreducible minimums.” John Fawn is a writer at the National Journal; he believes that NCLB was a brilliant idea but poorly executed.
He states that idea has so many loopholes which if not adequately addressed shall lead to unintended and unfortunate consequences (Kanj, 2005).
First, he points out the variance of standards in different states as a matter of concern. He writes “some states such as Massachusetts have adopted very high standards. However, states such as Arizona, Georgia, and Mississippi adopted low standards”.
Opposing the idea
Surprisingly, at the Congress members from both divides of the house seem to agree that NCLB has flaws that need to be addressed. They especially point out rating schools publically as beating the logic.
One member of the opposition was quoted saying “just carrying out tests and publically proclaiming them without doing anything to improve what happens in class, is ridiculous. It builds more condemnation rather than motivation”.
These sediments are echoed by Peg Tyre, award-winning reporter, who points out that the attention now shifts from teachers imparting knowledge to students to teachers just performing their duties.
He also notes that the notion of marking the “least” acceptable performance level as leading the entire system downwards because schools shall perform just to hit the “least” cut-offs (Tyre, 2013).
From the above discussion, it is clear that NCLB is a brilliant idea but in need of critical changes.
As compared to the Common Core program, NCLB leaves a lot to be desired. Essentially Common Core is a concept of ensuring clear communication of what is expected to be taught to students at each grade regardless of where they reside.
The program provides bedrock materials for students from a poor background to create equal playing ground with their middle-class counterparts. For instance, by the time a kid gets to fourth grade, he or she should be able to solve fractions problems.
I am of the option that the latter seems more promising, and if rightly implemented then the education system in this land shall have profound changes for the good of students, teachers, and the nation as a whole.
Kanj, G. (2005). The address of Education Systems. New York: John Wiley and Sons.
Pipkin, C. (2013). Commom Core and NCLB. Institutions Development. Web.
Ravittch, D. (2009). Ravitch Blogs Here on NAEP Results. Data Suggests NCLB Slows Student Progress. Web.
Tyre, P. (2013). Common Core: What it means for American Education. San Francisco: USCF learning Press.