No Child Left Behind

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 was actually signed into law on January 8, 2002 by President George W. Bush. It is commonly abbreviated as NCLB. It was a re-authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and some say that it was one of the most significant pieces of legislation to affect education in the last 30 years. No Child Left Behind was designed to hold schools accountable for student's proficiency, as determined by testing procedures. NCLB states that the 4 major goals are "stronger accountability for results, increased flexibility and local control, expanded options for parents, and an emphasis on teaching options that have been proven to work." The goal of NCLB was to have all students testing at proficient levels by the 2012-2013 school year. It also says that 95% of all eligible students must be taking the SOL tests. "Adequate Yearly Progress" (AYP), which is meeting the target proficiency ratings, must be met by the schools annually. If two consecutive years pass where a school does not meet AYP, then they get labeled as "needing improvement, and supplemental services may be offered.] No Child Left Behind also regulates employment of teachers, by requiring that all teachers are "highly qualified. Although the overall goal of No Child Left Behind is full of good intentions, it does not meet all students needs, for example, high-achieving, "gifted" students. NCLB also has implications for teachers, by putting a lot of pressure on the educators in the public school system to get the required proficiency results. Some have also argued that NCLB legislation prevents the teaching of civics, because the curriculum is so focused on other content areas. This could be detrimental, because the foundation of the public education system was to help students develop into productive citizens.