Many students, parents and teachers see No Child Left Behind as a detriment to the public education environment. President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act into law December 10, 2015 largely replacing the No Child Left Behind Act.
The new law tries to preserve the spirit of No Child Left Behind, while fixing what were widely perceived as its one-size-fits-all approach. “The goals of No Child Left Behind, the predecessor of this law, were the right ones: High standards. Accountability. Closing the achievement gap,” Obama said. “But in practice, it often fell short. It didn’t always consider the specific needs of each community. It led to too much testing during classroom time. It often forced schools and school districts into cookie-cutter reforms that didn’t always produce the kinds of results that we wanted to see.”
Student test scores are still being used by a number of states as a way to evaluate teacher performance, putting even more pressure on faculty in schools to “teach to the tests.” It also sets funding standards based on graduation rates and passing rates on classes and tests. The theory was that it will push kids to do better; in fact it makes administration push teachers to pass along kids who don’t understand material.
It is also harming the kids that excel. The teachers are now focused on the low achieving students and not the ones that are advanced. It also takes money away from the schools that are low achieving and they are supposed to improve with now those lower funds. The focus should also be on the high achieving students.
Brought to you by Dr. Edward Pham, Parent and Child Advocate. Also, a Special Needs Parent working to make a difference.