Is the No Child Left Behind act necessary?

February 29, 2012
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The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) was signed into law on January 8, 2002. On February 9, President Obama and Department of Education announced the flexibility of the act No Child Left Behind for 10 states. Where does my opinion come in? I believe that the United States should just over all get rid of this act. The point of No Child Left Behind is to assess how schools are doing education wise. They use a standardized test to tell the government if the school taught the students well or not. The problem with that is, not only does it tell the government, but it affects the school community and teaches students the wrong thing. Schools under No Child Left Behind teach their kids to pass the standardized test and to get good grades in the test. The school doesn’t teach the kids to use what they learn and to always remember it. As far as schools are concerned, passing the standardized tests is most important. There are many issues concerning the No Child Left Behind Act, which I believe should be dropped.

The point of No Child Left Behind is to assess how schools are doing yearly. If the schools don’t obtain the AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) then the schools will be marked down every year. If the school doesn’t obtain the AYP then the school will be marked down, starting off as “needs improvement” all the way down to “corrective action”. Once the school does worse than “corrective action”, then they government will come in and make the school into a charter school. Not only does the government label them, they also decrease their funding, making the school poor. This is apparently called the “kick ‘em when they’re down” strategy. I have a problem with that. Why does the government wait until the school is worse than “corrective action” to finally actually take action? Why doesn’t the government help out once it doesn’t reach the AYP for the year? Why wait about five steps to finally take action? This is why school systems around the United States are crashing; they lower their funds, which of course aren’t going to help the school improve. It’s pretty much just throwing the school underneath a bus. It is taking forever to help and fix schools.
When the school finally hits the point where it has to change to a charter school, this forces the government bring in “highly qualified” teachers. What happens to the teachers before? You can’t over populate a school with teachers? Do the teachers lose their jobs? Where do these extra teachers go? Also, once it changes to a charter school and the government takes control, the act requires the school to let military recruiters have students' contact information and other access to the student. This says that the school system has hit rock bottom that they allow the military to recruit.
One major question that sticks in my mind is what happens to the children with disabilities? They have to take the same test, under the same conditions as every other kid in the state. The state pressurizes that EVERY kid needs to make proficient in nearly every major subject on the standardized test. Schools are to provide “advance” classes for kids with disabilities. In other states, such as Michigan, state funding for gifted and talented programs was cut by up to 90% in the year after the act became law. The standardized test put too much pressure onto kids with disabilities, which studies have shown, stress on these kids will lead to long time problems when they grow up. Frankly, I think this is very unfair. These kids have disability, which means a huge majority of them are probably with mental disabilities. These kids can’t learn as fast as the others and now they have to learn everything the kids are learning this year just so could keep the school up to par. I have had some friends with some disabilities tell me how fried some of their brains are. It’s a little much on these kids.
I have grown up in a public school where the No Child Left Behind act was a huge deal. The teachers always zeroed into passing the test and never the techniques. Kids were always taught to just pass the test, and kids, right after the test, would forget everything they learned. After the standardized test, teachers start to calm down with the learning and work. They think that all that matters was the test, and then now, people can relax a month before school actually ends. The kind of prepare the kids for next year, but not enough. I remember going to the next grade, and the teachers would have to review a lot of things for the kids to take the course. Sometimes, the teachers from the year before didn’t teach the kids enough, so therefore they were really behind, more behind than they should be. No Child Left Behind is just a big bowl of stress and uselessness. Schools are supposed to teach kids things they will know for the rest of their life. School is supposed to be a relaxed place for everyone, and this act is stirring all the public schools up.

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