This post is the beginning of a two week blog series I will be doing for my final project in my English 102 class. This particular series will be discussing the education policy No Child Left Behind and concerns raised by the current system of education. I will be discussing the three biggest problems I see with this policy which are the issue of comparability between states, teachers changing their curriculum to “teach to the test”, and added pressure being put on teachers and students in the classroom to pass these tests. I will also be discussing possible ways this policy can be changed in the upcoming years. My argument will be made using pieces of research I have found in the midst of this project, personal experiences I have had with system from both sides of the perspective, and an interview from a professor of the School of Education who is deemed an expert by the rest of the department on this particular subject. I invite you to participate in this conversation by commenting on different posts and joining in on the conversations already started on the blog. Other people’s thoughts and experiences on this subject will make the argument much more convincing then just what I have to say.
If you were reading that paragraph above and had NO clue what I was talking about or you want a refresher of what No Child Left Behind is, or if you want to know a little more of the backgr0und of the policy this paragraph will give a brief introduction as to what No Child Left Behind is. No Child Left Behind is the name of the education policy that is currently used in the United States. The policy is implemented on the federal level but is carried out by each individual state. The policy was passed by George W. Bush and his administration on January 8th 2002 to replace the old system of education and to create standards by which America’s quality of education could be measured. The policy provides a way for quality of education to be measured by placing state and national standards that each individual school in the United States is supposed to meet. NCLB received huge bipartisan support in both the House of Representatives (384-45) and the Senate (91-8). This education policy is one of the few things that Congress has been able to agree on in both parties in the last few years. Like I mentioned earlier, it is a federal implemented program that is carried out by the state level. This is done by the federal government requiring each of the fifty states to set high standards and establish measurable goals for their schools to strive towards. The standards based system is carried out by a series of annual testing in which a student must be able to answer a certain amount of questions right in order to pass the test. A school must have a certain amount of students pass the test in order for the school to be considered “meeting standards.” This concept of meeting standards is known as Annual Yearly Percentage (AYP) and they measure whether a school is doing a good job of teaching their students or not by requiring a school to have so many students pass these tests.
The idea behind this education reform is supposed to be for the general good in education but the system itself does not provide a way in which it can be easily carried out. Students are still “left behind” no matter how much pressure is put on the schools and students to pass these test. The national level that all schools need to be at by 2012 is 100% of schools meet or exceed AYP and with the amount of schools that are currently failing year after year shows that this will not be possible by next year.