No Child Left Behind

No Child Left Behind




Education has always been acknowledged as one of the most fundamental pillars to the development of any country. However, it is well recognized that children do not have similar capabilities to undertake education. It is on this backdrop that the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 was signed by President George W. Bush, as a flagship aid program by the federal government in an effort to assist disadvantaged students. The Act required that states develop evaluations in fundamental skills and give the evaluations to all students at a certain grade levels so as to receive school funding from the federal government. However, it did not asset that there be a national achievement standard, as these were to be set by the states themselves. However, 12 years later, the Act has been a failure in varied ways. Varied reasons have been identified as the precursor for the failure.

First, the basic standards for proficiency were extremely low. The federal government set considerably low standards for schools to meet. All the schools had to do was to meet the extremely low standards for proficiency thereby qualifying for funding without actually enhancing the proficiency of the students (Cato Institute, 2012).

On the same note, scholars note that the NCLB is dumbing down kids as it tends to focus the attention of administrators and teachers on basic skills, leaving students unprepared to compete with their counterparts in high performing schools in the globe (Ravitch, 2010). A large number of kids are not getting an education that is founded on content-rich and coherent curriculum rather, they are simply obtaining thin gruel.

In addition, there may be a problem with allowing the states to define their own curriculums as this has resulted in the reduction of education standards within certain states (Ravitch, 2010). scholars note that the state scores should be benchmarked against National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) so as to encourage high standards (Ravitch, 2010).


Cato Institute, (2012). No Child Left Behind: A Decade of Failure. YouTube video retrieved May 22, 2013 from HYPERLINK “”

Ravitch, D. (2010). “Dictating to the Schools: A Look at the Effects of the Bush and Obama Administrations on Schools”, Virginia Journal of Education

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