Present State of NCLB

On January 8, 2002, George W. Bush signed the No Child Left Behind Act. According to Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education, it has created an artificial goal of proficiency that actually encouraged states to lower their standards to make it easier for students to meet goals and bring the school to meet AYP. Duncan also believes that this kind of system narrows curriculum and mislabels schools as failing, even though they may be demonstrating academic growth in other ways other than state tests. Over the years since NCLB has been in place, 44 states have made strides in raising their standards but are now having to explain why their schools are "failing". To fix this, the secretary of state believes the law needs to be less prescriptive and allow school districts to create their own improvement plans unique to their needs. Today, President Obama is offering states flexibility from NCLB in exchange for their own fair and flexible plans to raise standards. So far, 42 states have shown interest in this system and are currently working with the Department of Education. Congress has begun the process of reauthorizing NCLB.