With 49.4 million students enrolled in primary and secondary schools as of 2010, it can be cumbersome trying to keep everyone in check. Thankfully, in today’s educational system, a mechanism of accountability exists to ensure acceptable levels of productivity are maintained. The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) works to see that every student in America is proficient in his or her grade level for reading and math.
NCLB protects children from falling behind in learning the basic reading and mathematical skills that every child should know. It encourages schools to track their students’ achievements and promote constant accomplishment in order to continually to receive funds from their state governments.
In a world where promotions and rewards are not simply handed out, NCLB prepares students for the real world. Achievement is matched directly with performance; what’s more in keeping with the American Dream? The hard work put in will yield the just reward.
Schools with failing standards are a clear indicator that somewhere between administration, teachers and students, a lack of well-directed effort is occurring. NCLB does not automatically cut off funding to schools in need, but inspires schools in the nation to work harder as teachers and administrators are faced with the reality, in some districts, that if they do not meet standards, then they may be replaced with those who can produce positive results in often negative environments.
Moreover, under NCLB provisions, high-achieving students who attend “failing” schools also have the option to transfer over to schools that meet NCLB standards at no additional cost to the student. NCLB does not punish those students who are doing exactly what they are supposed to but instead works harder to strengthen their educational base by sending them to schools that can better nurture their learning.
NCLB sets guidelines where students should be at certain points. They do not interfere directly with curricula of schools that meet progress points, but only aid the schools that are falling behind. Skills that every student should know regardless of their path after high school are now taught more directly because of NCLB.
America is a diverse nation with multiple distinct educational values that each region of the United States holds dear. With so many different beliefs comprising what defines a valuable education, NCLB ties together the crucial, significant skills in mathematics and reading comprehension that every child should know regardless if he or she graduated from inner-city Los Angeles, rural Alabama or suburban Montgomery County.
Yes, strengthening the basic skills in math and reading does come at a cost that sometimes forces schools to consider if they can keep offering additional art or other elective courses. However, in practical terms, being able to tell apart a Rafael from a Picasso will not necessarily come to much aid if the student still cannot figure out how to read the sign in the front that says, “Metropolitan Museum of Art.”