No Child Left Behind Act
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 was a U. S. Act of Congress that reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, it supported standards-based education reform based on the premise that setting high standards and establishing measurable goals could improve individual outcomes in education. The Act required states to develop assessments in basic skills. To receive federal school funding, states had to give these assessments to all students at select grade levels; the act did not assert a national achievement standard—each state developed its own standards. NCLB expanded the federal role in public education through further emphasis on annual testing, annual academic progress, report cards, teacher qualifications, as well as significant changes in funding; the bill passed in the Congress with bipartisan support. By 2015, criticism from right and center had accumulated so much that a bipartisan Congress stripped away the national features of No Child Left Behind, its replacement, the Every Student Succeeds Act, turned the remnants over to the states.
It was coauthored by Representatives John Boehner, George Miller, Senators Ted Kennedy and Judd Gregg. The United States House of Representatives passed the bill on December 13, 2001, the United States Senate passed it on December 18, 2001. President Bush signed it into law on January 8, 2002. No Child Left Behind requires all public schools receiving federal funding to administer a statewide standardized test annually to all students. Schools that receive Title I funding through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 must make Adequate Yearly Progress in test scores. If the school's results are poor steps are taken to improve the school. Schools that miss AYP for a second consecutive year are publicly labeled as "In Need of Improvement," and must develop a two-year improvement plan for the subject that the school is not teaching well. Students have the option to transfer to a better school within the school district. Missing AYP in the third year forces the school to offer free tutoring and other supplemental education services to students who are struggling.
If a school misses its AYP target for a fourth consecutive year, the school is labelled as requiring "corrective action," which might involve wholesale replacement of staff, introduction of a new curriculum, or extending the amount of time students spend in class. A fifth year of failure results in planning to restructure the entire school. Common options include closing the school, turning the school into a charter school, hiring a private company to run the school, or asking the state office of education to run the school directly. States must create AYP objectives consistent with the following requirements of the law: States must develop AYP statewide measurable objectives for improved achievement by all students and for specific groups: economically disadvantaged students, students with disabilities, students with limited English proficiency; the objectives must be set with the goal of having all students at the proficient level or above within 12 years. AYP must be based on state assessments, but must include one additional academic indicator.
The AYP objectives must be assessed at the school level. Schools that failed to meet their AYP objective for two consecutive years are identified for improvement. School AYP results must be reported separately for each group of students identified above so that it can be determined whether each student group met the AYP objective. At least 95% of each group must participate in state assessments. States may aggregate up to three years of data in making AYP determinations; the act requires states to provide "highly qualified" teachers to all students. Each state sets its own standards for what counts as "highly qualified." The act requires states to set "one high, challenging standard" for its students. Each state decides for itself what counts as "one high, challenging standard," but the curriculum standards must be applied to all students, rather than having different standards for students in different cities or other parts of the state; the act requires schools to let military recruiters have students' contact information and other access to the student, if the school provides that information to universities or employers, unless the students opt out of giving military recruiters access.
This portion of the law has drawn lots of criticism and has led to political resistance. For instance, in 2003 in Santa Cruz, student-led efforts forced school districts to create an "opt-in" policy that required students affirm they wanted the military to have their information; this successful student organizing effort was copied in various other cities throughout the United States. Supporters of the NCLB claim one of the strong positive points of the bill is the increased accountability, required of schools and teachers. According to the legislation, schools must pass yearly tests that judge student improvement over the fiscal year; these yearly standardized tests are the main means of determining whether schools live up to required standards. If required improvements are not made, the schools face decreased funding and other punishments that contribute to the increased accountability. According to supporters, these goals help teachers and schools realize the significance and importance of the educational system and how it affects the n