What is No Child Left Behind (NCLB)?
The public law, 107-110 known as No Child Left Behind, states the purpose is to ensure that all children have a fair, equal and significant opportunity to obtain a high quality education. The theory behind this is children should reach, at a minimum proficiency and challenging state academy.
There is a significant gap between the achievement test scores of children from low income families, racial differences, children with disabilities and the "normal" children across the country.
It requires annual proficiency testing; research based reading program, highly qualified teachers, supplemental education services and public choice as well as parent involvement.
What is the reason for this?
The thought behind it is that by the time a child is in the 3rd grade they will all be able to read on grade level. All children are tested on grade level regardless of their capability. So basically if you have a child who is in the 6th grade but is reading on a second grade reading level there is no way the child is going to be able to pass a test that is on a sixth grade level. Not only are they getting state tested on their grade level but their classwork has to be as well. These children are being set up to fail. This is where this law makes no sense and children are being left behind. In addition, the overall scores dictate how much Title 1 money each school receives.
Schools meeting and not meeting adequate yearly progress
The other part of the law states that if a Title one school fails to meet adequate yearly progress (AYP) two years in a row you can move your child to another school in the district that does meet the requirements. If the school fails to meet AYP for three years the school must provide supplemental education services, provided supplemental education services including tutoring, after school programs and summer programs. These services are free to parents however the problem is when dealing with special needs children that are years behind their grade level no amount of supplemental services are going to catch them up to grade level. Not to mention most special needs children are tired, overwhelmed and overstimulated by the end of the day. They can't possibly retain additional material. The idea behind this looks good on paper but it simply doesn't work. For some children this method may work but for children who are significantly behind have no way to pass the state testing or even class.
I love to have your comments on this. Do you think this law sounds fair? Leave comments please.