No Child Left Behind Policy

No Child Left Behind Policy




There has been the need to determine whether there has been success in the implementation of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Policy in the United States. As a result, a number of studies have been conducted in schools in the Unites States to establish the success of implementation of this policy. The focus of this has been to establish the areas of success as a result of implementation of this policy as well as the areas of failures. This will enable stakeholders to establish whether there is the need to continue implementing this policy or not. This paper will seek to establish the effectiveness of NCLB in enhancing the quality of education provided to children. This study will also seek to determine the impact that has been brought by No Child Left Behind policy in terms of the level of increased literacy in the United States.

No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Policy refers to the policy that was created by President George W. Bush on January, 8 2002 with the aim of improving the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (McGuinn, 2006). His resulted from concern from the public with regards to the state of education where there was the need to reach every public schools in America with the goal of improving education of disadvantaged students in the United States. Various measures were designed to improve the gains in student accomplishments and to ensure schools are held accountable for the success of the students.

Various changes were brought to the education landscape. For instance, students in grade 3-8 were tested on annual basis and the tests were aligned with the academic standards in the United States, schools were expected to bring the students up to the expected level of academic progress and schools that failed to meet the expected targets in two consecutive years would be provided with technical assistance and students would be transferred to other public schools (Brown & Hunter, 2006). This policy also required that students were to be issued with report cards that showed their academic progress while teachers were to be highly qualified before they could be allowed to teach in a public school.


The NCLB policy was accompanied with considerable controversy and debate from education stakeholders. There had been a number of questions raised by education stakeholders regarding the feasibility of this act. According to the views of most principals and superintendents, this policy is viewed as politically motivated and has resulted into undermining of public schools (Beltran, 2009). It has also been argued that the requirement of the policy where progress of schools are evaluated on the basis of demographic subgroups results into penalization of schools that have student populations from diverse backgrounds.

Another concern for the education policy was in terms of the rules pertaining to adequate yearly progress and the target of 100% efficiency by the year 2013/2014. Schools that had traditionally performed better did not meet these set rates of improvement and they were considered to have failed (Hess & Petrilli, 2007). This resulted into 39% of schools failing to make the right yearly progress from 29% in the year 2006.

Despite the law allowing states to set their own annual benchmark standards on the basis that they reached 100% proficiency by 2012-2013, a number of states simply failed to raise their benchmarks to any level.


There are advocates for the NCLB act with some supporting the need for the accountability and transparency while some observers argue that the effectiveness of this act will be based on whether sates are closely stuck to the principles of ‘tough accountability. It has also been argued that the best contribution that the national government can bring to the improvement of education policies is by enabling each state to try school programs they consider successful for their schools.


Beltran, E. M. (2009). A social work policy analysis of No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (Public Law 107-110).

Brown, F., & Hunter, R.C. (2006). No child left behind and other federal programs for urban school districts. Amsterdam: Elsevier JAI.

Carlson, J. S. (2005). The No Child Left Behind legislation: Educational research and federal funding. Greenwich, Conn: Information Age Publ.

Hess, F. M., & Petrilli, M. J. (2007). No child left behind: Primer. New York: Peter Lang.

McGuinn, P. J. (2006). No Child Left Behind and the transformation of federal education policy: 1965-2005. Lawrence, Kan: Univ. Press of Kansas.

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