The No Child Left Behind Act or NCLB is an update of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that holds schools accountable for student outcomes. It supports standardized educational reforms and enables the provision of valuable objectives and high standards in the education system. Unfortunately, the federal government could hardly provide the right funding for the program. It is also creating fear among teachers, because a student performing badly could result in their termination. So what exactly does the NLCB act good for?
List of Pros of the No Child Left Behind Act
1. Helps ensure better test scores.
Since the act was implemented in 2002, students test scores are said to have improved. The same is true for students belonging in minority groups. This is perceived as a good sign for the future.
2. Results in equal access to education.
Whatever achievement gaps in the overall academic performance of students in all American schools will be addressed by the Act. This means disadvantaged students will have an opportunity to improve their skills and be at par with intelligence or advanced students.
3. Higher education standards.
For the American education system to become more competitive and advanced, institutions must hire the best tutors and teachers. This means schools have to enforce higher standards, persuading students to improve their performance. Since its implementation, tutoring has been provided to nearly 450,000 eligible students.
4. Approved educational reforms.
Since the No Child Left Behind Act was implemented, the number of students attending American schools have hugely increased. This is why many are satisfied with the educational reforms.
List of Cons of No Child Left Behind Act
1. Excludes special education.
No enhancement procedures or good reforms for special education were established. This mean students with learning disabilities will not benefit from the reform.
2. Results in academic difficulty.
The act holds students to the same state-dictated achievement standards, regardless of their intelligence and ability level, native language and socioeconomic status. This puts students who are not very intelligent in a difficult position to keep up with the higher standards of learning.
3. Possible loss of ambition.
Who would want to continue studying when faced with many challenges? Students having difficulty to keep up with more intelligent students would either work harder or give up. If they choose the latter, they also give up their ambition in the process.
4. Inequality in focus of academic resources.
More attention was focused on reading and math proficiency, resulting in fewer time and resources devoted to other areas in education, such as social studies, science, art and physical education.
5. Difficulty in measuring student’s performance.
Because academic standards are set by the state, many professionals argue that comparison of data on a nationwide scale is impossible. Measurement is also based only on an annual multiple tests on reading and math.
6. Requires increased investment.
The amount of investment needed to implement the act is more than the budget that the federal government allocated for the educational system and programs in American schools. This is why lack of funding has become a consistent failure.