Left Behind This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     When President George W. Bush implemented the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) in 2001, it was heralded by some as a geat reforming act of education. Many thought that the President had figured out a way to ensure that all children would now be on a level playing field. It has become clear, however, that through the law’s implementation the government is, in effect, depriving many underprivileged students of what we as a nation intended to give them: a quality education.

Under No Child Left Behind, schools that do not meet the government’s test standards will be deprived of federal funding, a fact that scared many school officials. According to the Center on Education Policy, 71 percent of the nation’s 15,000 school districts have since cut subjects including history and music in favor of intensive focus on math and reading. While this narrowing of the curriculum might result in higher test scores, the student is losing by being deprived of a full education. By not being exposed to the arts and sciences, students are prevented from experiencing all the disciplines, which is perhaps even more harmful than being deficient in math and science.

One of the great benefits of the more comprehensive curriculum (that many of us still enjoy) is that we are able to experience, firsthand, many of the fields we might enter. By more or less forcing this privilege to be eliminated from lower performing schools, the government is essentially taking away the opportunity for students to become inspired. Without exposure to social studies, the arts, and the sciences, we will find it extremely difficult to discover our true passion

We must not make excuses for the deficiencies in our schools; it is ludicrous to hold students responsible for being born to parents who can’t afford to move to a better school district. Instead of threatening them, as NCLB does, this nation must support students and make sure that they receive the most well-rounded education possible. This alone will allow us to maintain the diverse and highly skilled workforce that we currently have.

No Child Left Behind has put our collective hearts in the right place, and while it may be true that no child is being left behind, some are being left out.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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