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The No Child Left behind Act, which was put into force by President Bush administration, has been a total failure. According to Education Secretary Arne Duncan, four out of five schools in the nation might not be able to meet the bench marks of the “No Child Left Behind” by the stipulated target year of 2014 (Holland, 2011). Furthermore, statistics shows that most schools in the United States have already given up towards this cause signifying that the act will not live to see the light. It has been stated that the law itself which was enacted towards realizing this dream, has not helped matters, but has offered an environment where schools are likely to fail. True enough, and as a result of its several limitations, the law has failed to live to its expectations of making schools in the United States as perfect, instead giving room for several limitations towards achieving their objectives (Paige et al). Furthermore, all public schools might not in the real sense, be able to ensure that all students in grades 4 through to 8 are able to achieve a grade level in both math and reading. In the light of the above revelations, the NCLB act has indeed failed to live to what it was expected to accomplish.
NCLB has not been effective
According to data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the rate of student improvement since the act came into force has greatly declined. In comparison with previous years, the data shows that the drop has been great suggesting that NCLB has led to an environment where instead of students changing for the better, they have been transformed form unchanging to a condition of closing (Jordan, 2008). This is an indication that no progress is being made in the ultimate run. There are no significant improvements that can be made by NCLB in the subjects that it majorly focuses on, reading and math.
In order for a system to be termed as effective, it must be able to fulfil its intended purpose. On the other hand, the Free Dictionary in the web defines effectiveness as the intention towards an expected effect or better still, existing in fact. In terms of the ‘No Child Left Behind’ program, its features have not been able to march this definition (Tsoi-A-Fatt). Karp (2011), heads the last nail into the coffin by stating that no education system in any part of the globe have been able to attain the standards that were set by the act.
The Purpose of No Child Left Behind Program
NCLB was designed to help students in achieving vital learning goals while at the same time receiving quality education from teachers who were effectively qualified. In this regard, the No Child Left Behind program was mandated to increase the level of achievement of each student through reading and math. It was also evident that NCLB program was directed towards closing the gap that existed between different racial, economical as well as ethnic backgrounds (Paige et al). Hence NCLB program can be termed as one way of measuring achievement gap between groups of students within the United States.
NCLB program and how it measures effectiveness
NCLB measures effectiveness by monitoring the progress of the student in math and reading. The act stipulates that there ought to be accountability in schools. This is done through the formulation of report cards in schools and the type of information they are designed to provide. The reports cards must include an assessment of how the student performed in the three levels of basic, proficiency and advanced (Jordan, 2008). Testing is the other way in which students learning progress is assessed. NCLB program ensures, through testing, that no child is trapped in a low-performing school. Reading is the other way through which the program will be able to measure the effectiveness of each student. In order for students to become good readers, they have to identify some critical skills.
Changes towards improving NCLB
Some of the changes that have put across towards improving the No Child Left behind Act are the necessary 21st skills in order to succeed. The changes experienced in the world today requires students to put into practice their technological ideas and concepts. This is done through creating global awareness, promoting financial, economic, business as well as entrepreneurial literacy among students (National Education Association). Furthermore, health and wellness awareness ought to be advocated for by the stakeholders in the education sector. The other changes advocated for by this factor includes incorporating the learning and thinking skills as well as communication, collaboration and media literacy skills all of which form the background of attaining 21st Century skills objective (Tsoi-A-Fatt et al 2007). Students must also be introduced to some concepts about Information and Communication Technology and how it can help them in reading and understanding what is required on their part.
These changes are necessary
The changes that have been proposed towards NCLB are fundamental for the act to succeed. For instance, it will be inconsequential to promote reading and math in schools while ignoring the major contribution brought by technology. Students ought to develop communication as well as leadership skills that will grant them the opportunity to interact freely with the globalized world (National Education Association). In undertaking theses changes, NCLB program will ensure that all students in American schools are able to leave with the necessary critical skills that are required to be successful in the world today.