NCLB needs to be eliminated

Published 10:43 am Monday, August 4, 2008

In theory, No Child Left Behind seemed like a great idea: hold schools accountable for students’ success and set high expectations for outcomes.

In reality, NCLB is a disaster. The federal legislation, signed into law in 2002, sets unrealistic goals and unfunded mandates for districts. Schools that don’t meet standards lose funding, completely defeating the purpose of trying to provide the best education possible for students.

Grades are in this week for schools when the Department of Education publishes its annual list of those who did and didn’t meet “adequate yearly progress.” Schools that don’t make the list must provide supplemental instruction and could be subject later to restructuring.

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One reason many teachers debate this legislation is because they are forced to “teach the test;” meeting testing standards is so vital to schools now, much time must be spent preparing students, particularly in reading and math, rather than teaching a broader spectrum of instruction. Also, it has been debated that testing is not a completely accurate measure of students’ knowledge or intelligence.