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No Child Left Behind

The “No Child Left Behind Act” was signed into law early in 2002. It was a
reauthorization of an earlier bill that had the goal of improving school
achievement for all students (Jorkenson & Hoffmann, 2003). The bill was
intended to increase accountability for student achievement or lack of
same, tying this accountability to federal funds. It requires that local
school districts increase parental involvement, monitor student achievement
closely, and in cases where student achievement is not progressing
adequately, determine the reasons and apply remedies.
Emphasis for monitoring progress was placed at the state level and
requires that each state establish assessment methods that track all
student learning against a set of nationally-set standards. It emphasizes
the idea that increased funding alone will not increase achievement or new
rules and emphasizes public accountability for student progress or lack of
same (Jorkenson & Hoffmann, 2003).
The roots of NCLD are in the 1981 National Commission on Excellence in
Education authorized under 20 U.S.C. 1233a, which was charged with the task
to “review and synthesize the data and scholarly literature on the quality
of learning and teaching in the nation’s schools, colleges, and
universities, both public and private, with special concern for the
educational experience of teen-age youth.” (Jorkenson & Hoffmann, 2003) The
commission looked at four elements of education: content, expectations,
time, and teaching (Jorkenson & Hoffmann, 2003). Among their findings were
that over 13% of the nation’s high school students were functionally
illiterate (Jorkenson & Hoffmann, 2003). Their recommendations were
published as A Nation at Risk and called for sweeping reforms. New
expectations were codified when the Improving America’s Schools Act of 1994
(IASA) was passed in 1994 (Jorkenson & Hoffmann, 2003),
This law and its companion bill, the Goals 2000: Educat…

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