22 July 2013
The Evaluation of No Child Left Behind
Students in America today often lack critical thinking skills thanks to the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). This act forces schools to cut programs that foster the creativity and the ability to make students fascinated and involved in subjects they are engaged and excited with. Whether during school hours or after school programs, NCLB eliminates the chance for students’ own independent thinking as well as increases students’ risk of dropping out of high school. NCLB is not an effective reform because it affects students and educators in a variety of negative ways.
The No Child Left Behind act was established in 2001. The purpose of the Act is to promote standards-based education and hold schools accountable. In order to receive federal funding for schools, states were required to develop basic skills assessments at different grades throughout the school year and are required to meet adequate yearly progress (AYP) in test scores. For instance each year, its third graders must do better on standardized tests than the previous year's third graders. Importantly, No Child Left Behind did not propose the creation of national standards or national exams for students to pass. Instead, standards were and are to be created and assessed by each individual state. Although NCLB seems like a great law it is not.
One of the most detrimental results of this law is that it forces teachers to narrow their teaching down; in order to squeeze in the overflow of material they must cover for the standardized test. Unfortunately this also limits the time students are allowed to focus on other subjects. Teachers universally complain that there’s no time provided for developing concepts and authentic learning, just time to cram in mountains of disconnected facts and skills. With that being said, students happen to lose the opportunity for them to gain critical thinking skills and real life experiences. They also...