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No Child Left Behind Act

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1. Definition of the Policy

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) signed into law by President George W. Bush on January 8, 2002, is a comprehensive overhaul of the federal governments requirements of state and local education systems ( It reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 and replaces the 1994 Improving Americas Schools Act.

2. General Background Information

President Bush has made education his number one domestic priority ( On January 23, 2001 he sent his NCLB plan for comprehensive education reform to Congress. At that time, he asked members of Congress to engage in an active bipartisan debate on how we can use the federal role in education to closet he achievement gap between disadvantaged and minority students and their peers. The result of the NCLB Act of 2001 embodies the four principles of President Bush's education reform plan: stronger accountability for results, expanded flexibility and local control, expanded options for parents, and an emphasis on teaching methods that have been proven to work.

3. Historical Information

Since 1965, when the federal government embarked on its first major elementary and secondary education initiative federal policy has strongly influenced America's schools ( Over the years, Congress has created hundreds of programs intended to address problems in education without asking whether or not the programs produce results or knowing they're impact on local needs. This "program for every problem" solution has begun to add up - so much so that there is hundreds of education programs spread across thirty nine federal agencies at the cost of $120 billion dollars a year. Yet, after years of spending billions of dollars on education, the United States have fallen short in meeting the goals for educational excellence. The academic achievement gap between rich and poor and Anglo and minority are not wide, but in some cases is still growing wider.

4. The Law

On January 8, 2002, President George W. Bush signed into law the revised Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the most significant education policy initiative in a generation ( This new law, a potent blend of new requirements, incentives, and resources, poses enormous challenges for states. It sets deadlines for them to expand the scope and frequency of student testing, revamp their accountability systems and guarantee that every classroom is staffed by a quality teacher in his or her subject area. It requires states to make demonstrable progress from year to year in raising the percentage of student's proficient on reading and math, and in narrowing the test score gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students. And it pushes them to rely more heavily on research-based approaches to improving school quality and student performance. But the new law also presents states with a range of new resources, tools, and opportunities. Federal spending on ESEA programs will increase significantly. Nearly one billion a year will be provided over the next five years to help states and districts strengthen kindergarten through grade three reading programs. And there will be increased federal support for before and after school programs, school libraries, Charter schools, and "reading readiness" programs for preschoolers in high poverty areas.

5. Rational for Doing This

As a third year Early Childhood Education student, I feel that it is crucial to be informed of what is currently happening in the field of education. The No Child Left Behind Act is not only new to the field of education; it is a law that was implemented by President George W. Bush. Because of this law, classroom programs around the United States have to be drastically changed in order to meet the requirements of this new law. Being just a year shy of graduating, it is imperative that I become informed of this law. Although I do not agree with the majority of what the President has proposed, it is something by law has to be implemented in America's public schools. In addition, the law requires teachers who are highly qualified in their subject area. Although I am in a professional teacher preparation program, school systems have to have extremely high standards when hiring new teachers. Therefore, being informed of this new law only prepares me better for the hiring process that is in the distant future.

6. Summary of Three Sources Used from the Literature

1. (2003). The No Child Left Behind Database. Education Commission

of the States. Retrieved March 12,



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