No Child Left Behind
Have you heard of the No Child Left Behind Act? It is a reform for education that has been implemented across the nation to help improve performance in academics. It’s main goal is to help close the gap in achievement that seems to occur mostly in students that are minority, disabled, or otherwise disadvantages. In order to do so, studies are done to measure performance in students and then sends the resources to focus the attention on those children that are most in danger of academically falling behind. But what does that mean for the actual schools?
With the No Child Left Behind Act, all schools that receive funds from the federal government that help children that are educationally disadvantaged must make progress yearly in areas of mathematics, language arts, and reading. The levels of progress are very clearly defined and have been rising each year. Each of the fifty states have this program in place and determine the goals based on what is deemed appropriate by their own school districts. If any of the schools don’t reach their goal in a given year, they are given another chance and some help. The next year, if they still don’t reach the goal, they are labeled as needing improvement. At that point, the school is given extra resources and new school choices are given to the parents and students.
Each year, the states will release a list of under performing schools from the previous year. Parents will be alerted to the status of their child’s school. If the school their child attends fails, the families may be eligible for after school classes or free tutoring for their children. The option may also be available for them to choose a new school that meets their needs better.
If a school is labeled as under performing for five years or more straight, a plan to turn it around over two years must be developed and implemented by the school. Their school district has to make sure that school is receiving all the help it needs as it tries to reach it’s goals.