Everywhere in the world, education appears to be the most important treasure that any parent may provide for his or her child. No parent would want his or her child to go astray by not having quality education, which is the strongest foundation of a child’s learning and competence. However, it is undeniable that in some countries, education is still not accessible for all. This is why the other, wealthier countries are striving hard to maintain people’s access to education regardless of their social status, religion, gender, and political views.
The American children are some of the luckiest and most blessed children in the world. This is because most of them have access to high quality education that is provided by a country which remains to be one of the most powerful nations in the world. However, the U. S. government seemed to be discontented with this situation, as they further aimed to make the education system of America better through the proposal of former President George W. Bush to uplift the quality of primary and secondary education in the country. This was made possible through the proposal that the Congress reviewed in 2001. Thus, in 2002, this bill was finally enacted and was henceforth termed as the No Child Left Behind Act or NCLB (U.S. Department of Education [ED], 2003).
What is NCLB all about?
The No Child Left Behind Act or NCLB of the U. S. Congress is also often dubbed as “nickelbee,” basing it on how the letters of the acronym can be pronounced (Nichols, 2003). Basically, what the bill aims to do is uplift the quality and standard of education in the United States. Moreover, the bill is said to support children who are in need of real quality education because of their economic status. Specifically however, NCLB was enacted in 2002 to create better education that is based on four principles: (1) stronger accountability for results; (2) more freedom for states and communities; (3) more and better choices for parents; and (4) encouraging proven education methods (Nickelbee.org, 2009). Through this Act, the government aims to achieve higher standard and quality in primary and secondary education. The implementation of this Act also raises the accountability of schools for the proficiency and learning of their students as well as their failures. Also, this Act also makes the local governments more flexible in distributing their funds to educational programs as well as giving the local officials more freedom in demonstrating educational projects in association with schools. Moreover, the Act also gives wider choices for parents in terms of which quality school they would want to send their children. Lastly, through the NCLB Act, the government aims to sharpen and make the teaching strategies more efficient (ED, 2003).
Considering these objectives – especially the last objective of the NCLB Act – it can be inferred that the competence of teachers will now be an issue. This is because one of the most important aims of the NCLB Act is to assure the parents that their children will have the best educators as possible regardless of their economic status, ethnicity, and race (ED, 2009). This implies that the enactment of the bill puts more responsibility upon the shoulders of teachers in such a way that as educators, they have to sharpen their skills more and raise their level to match the standards of education made by the government. Also, this gives educational institutions greater responsibility as well of making sure that the educators they employ have the ability and competence to meet the educational standards of the country. In addition, the academic institutions have to make sure that the teachers possess the right skills and capabilities to teach the subjects they are in. Thus, as it appears, the NCLB is indeed a greater challenge for the American teachers as well as the officials of educational institutions. Nevertheless, all things considered, these efforts all boil down to one clear objective of making education accessible to all Americans and making the American educational standards better.
However, despite this thought, a lot of cases have been still filed and heard in connection with the requirements demanded by the NCLB Act. One of these is the case filed by Connecticut’s local government about the lack of funding from the government that will push through the requirements and mandates that they are imposing (Kirkpatrick & Reynolds, 2008). The court case reached the Court of Appeals, and it involves several arguments such as the claim that NCLB is asking for too much to the extent that it is demanding way more than what the teachers can actually do. The case also reveals that the state of Connecticut perceives some requirements as too ideal to the point that some of them do not seem to be realistic anymore. The state also argues that most of the bill’s protocols are discretely comparing classes rather than pushing for the total development of students (Kirkpatrick & Reynolds, 2008). Moreover, some of its conditions are also seen to be unjust, such as the bill’s condition of penalizing schools that would not be able to meet the standards that will be measured through the distressing tests and exams given from third graders to tenth graders.
Considering these claims and facts, it appears that all proposals and amendments in the country’s laws will always acquire negative judgments and reactions. Nevertheless, these will always depend on how well the government is able to implement the said rules. The bottom line is that the intention will always justify the ends of every action. What the former President Bush wanted to happen was to uplift the standards of American education in order to keep on making more competent American students. No matter how well this bill is implemented, everything boils down to one single goal which is to make the education of all American children better and more efficient. It is therefore the people’s responsibility to make this bill effective and helpful by complying to it and supporting its endeavors.
Kirkpatrick, R. & Reynolds, J. (2008, March 25). Court case may help Connecticut fight No Child Left Behind mandates. The Wilton Bulletin. Retrieved June 17, 2009, from http://www.acorn-online.com/news/publish/wilton/30940.shtml.
Nickelbee.org. (2009). Nicklebee.org NFP, Providing for the Future. Retrieved June 17, 2009, from http://www.nicklebee.org/Home.
Nichols, E. S. (2007, February 12). When NCLB standards meet reality. Education Matters. Retrieved June 17, 2009, from http://web.archive.org/web/20070923064813/www.tellingthetruth.com/education_matters/index.html.
U.S. Department of Education. (2003, August 23). NCLB: Overview. Fact Sheet on the Major Provisions of the Conference. Retrieved June 17, 2009, from http://www.ed.gov/nclb/overview/intro/factsheet.html.
U. S. Department of Education. (2009, February 20). No Child Left Behind: A Toolkit for Teachers. Retrieved June 17, 2009, from http://www.ed.gov/teachers/nclbguide/toolkit_pg10.html#requirements.