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No Child Left Behind at the State Level

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Over the last several years, the national government has begun to give education more of the attention it needs. With reading and mathematics scores for children across the nation steadily declining, something had to be done.

So, the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) was signed into federal law.
This act set higher goals for all schools, trying to ensure that there would be an improvement in the performance of the students in all states and school districts. Also, NCLB gave parents the opportunity to send their children to the school of their choice. Specifics standards for school districts were not mandated by NCLB because the constitution directs that this is to be a reserved power of the individual states.

But, there are certain aspects of the NCLB act that are common across every state. For one, it is a federal requirement that all teachers have certain qualifications in order to be allowed to teach. Teachers must have a bachelor’s degree (or a higher degree of college education), expertise in their subject matter, and they must fulfill all state licensing obligations.

Another aspect of NCLB found in every state is the student tests. Public school children must be tested annually for mathematics and reading in grades 3 through 8. Also, they are tested in science one time during the grades 3 through 5, grades 6 through 9, and grades 10 and 11. Additionally, math and reading are tested at least once during high school.

Some people dislike NCLB because they feel that teachers “teach to the test.” Other people feel NCLB helps to ensure that children graduate school having learned the basics and that it is helping more children to effectively learn. Regardless, NCLB is federal law—at least for now, anyway. Perhaps one day someone will come up with another approach to help our nation’s troubled education system.

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