No Child Left Behind Legislation was passed in 2001 in an attempt to bring equality to the classroom for all ethnicities, economic status and geographical locations. However, it has been apparent since the legislation went into affect, it has been ineffective. There are two recent articles that support the need for the legislation to be improved. Giving Students Equal Access to Quality Education, by T Willard Fair, discusses possible issues why the legislation has failed thus far; while Senator Burr Introduces No Child Left Behind Re-authorization, addresses proposed solutions to compensate for the ineffective legislation. Both of these articles provide recent insight to the legislation, as a curriculum and program developer this legislation and the way it affects our schools and education in our society directly impacts instructional design for the Department of Education.
T Willard Fair addresses the supplemental educational services program that provides free tutoring for students, by identifying that only 17 percent of all qualified students actually participated in the program. To offer a free program that only 17 percent of students take advantage of is horrific but unfortunately not surprising. According to the article, parents are blaming the school districts by stating that the information is not available soon enough and not in all languages used by students and parents in the school districts. T Willard Fair goes on to offer suggestions for legislation improvement such as eliminating road blocks for parents and students to access the free tutoring, hold school budgets accountable for specific programs, enhancing the program throughout school districts, and implementing the program within other local community organizations.
In Senator Burr’s revision, the system is still rooted in state standards and assessments with an increased timeline for schools develop and implement plans to improve the students’ academic achievements. The new legislation would put a greater emphasis on high school graduation by implementing accelerated academic catch-up programs, developing early warning systems to identify possible drop-outs, and providing students the opportunity to job shadow, intern, and complete community service.
Similar to both articles, the original legislation lacks enough structure and support to be successful. In T Willard Fair’s article, parents are quoted, stating that the schools generate too many road blocks; however, the parents need to be more accountable for their child’s learning opportunities. The high school developed program called SeaTech provides students with more opportunities in marine science. This is a completely free program held in local community organizations designed to create a path for under-served teens to develop the tools necessary to be successful in college and in the workplace. We provide internships, college prep classes, college tours and even a few college scholarships, yet we find it difficult for students to make a commitment to the program, primarily due to the lack of parental support. If students and parents are not going to be held accountable, it is very difficult for schools to be successful with programs such as free tutoring.
Senator Burr’s revisions to the legislation looks great on paper but accelerated programs will force teachers to cut corners in education which will most like frustrate both students and teachers. The biggest success may be the job shadowing and intern program being developed, however, the students that would take advantage of this type of opportunity are the same students that do not necessarily require a system like this one.
The biggest problem with the legislation, which was not addressed in either article is the focus on state standards and assessments. Unfortunately state standards do not aide students in the development of critical or creative thinking nor do state standards measure a student’s personal growth.
Both Senator Burr and T Willard Fair address the need for the revision of the No Child Left Behind Legislation 2001 with their own opinions of what needs to be adjusted for the legislation to be successful. Although their intentions are well, their suggestions may not produce the results we are all hoping for in our educational system.
SEN. BURR INTRODUCES NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND REAUTHORIZATION. (2007, July 12). US Fed News Service, Including US State News, Retrieved July 13, 2007, from General Interest Module database. (Document ID: 1303638981).
T Willard Fair (2007, June 22). Giving students equal access to quality education. Recorder,p. A8. Retrieved July 13, 2007, from Ethnic NewsWatch (ENW) database. (Document ID: 1303634701).