No Child Left Behind Act

  Tags: politics   education   george w bush   nclb   school


In 2001, former president George W. Bush signed into law the "No Child Left Behind" Act (NCLB). The full government print of the act can be found on ed.gov, the official website of the Federal Department of Education (PDF). It's major sections are titled:

1. Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged
2. Preparing, Training, and Recruiting High Quality Teachers and Principals
3. Language Instruction for Limited English Proficient and Immigrant Students
4. 21st Century Schools
5. Promoting Informed Parental Choice and Innovative Programs
6. Flexibility and Accountability
7. Indian, Native Hawaiian, and Alaska Native Education
8. Impact Aid Program
9. General Provisions
10. Repeals, Redesignations, and Amendments to Other Statutes

The NCLB Act has been a hot topic of debate in education and politics since it's inception. Although there are few who disapprove of the intent - to improve the quality of education in the US - there are many who dispute it's effectiveness.

This debate asks the question, should the No Child Left Behind act be repealed?

There is a separate debate on public vs private schools, homeschooling, and whether or not the Federal Department of Education be eliminated.

Arguments For

Yes, this is an effective program

Standardized state testing scores have improved after the NCLB Act was put into law.
The act gives needed attention on minority students.
The act increases the accountability of schools to perform well.

Arguments Against

No, this is not an effective program

The NCLB causes teachers to "teach to the test" rather than teach the broad spectrum of learning material. Standardized testing does not adequately measure the quality of education.

The act gives an incentive for low performance. Poor performing schools are given additional help.
The act gives no incentive for high performance. Schools are not compelled to have gifted student programs or advanced placement. It is economically better to satisfy the minimum requirements.

The NCLB's focus on math and English are inadequate and cause other programs such as foreign language, music, athletics, biology, philosophy, social studies, history, and many other curriculum to be reduced or completely eliminated.

The NCLB grants military recruiters to schools that some parents feel is inappropriate.

The act requires 100% compliance, which many believe is impossible since it includes a tremendous variability of students with different strengths and also includes special education (students afflicted with mental retardation).

The act is a tremendous waste of taxpayer funds that would better be put to use on paying for higher quality schools, programs, and teachers rather than government beaurocrats.

Home-schooled students receive no benefit from the program, though their parents are taxed the same.


Related Debates

US Federal Department of Education
Should GW Bush Be Tried?
Should evolution be taught in schools?

User Comments & Opinion


2 Voted Yes

1 Voted No

profile pic
Nothing but a waste of taxpayer money! - jennyhooah (twitter) vote up image vote down image 0
Vote "Yes" Comment:
* Note: Your comment will be tweeted.
Vote "No" Comment:
* Note: Your comment will be tweeted.
Recent Changes   dot   Latest Comments   dot   63 Total Users   dot   260 Total Debates since Aug '09