So what is No Child Left Behind? And what are the 2008 presidential candidates’ positions on this controversial legislation? Here’s a little NCLB 101, and what Obama and McCain plan to do about this legislation.
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 was a federal law passed under the Bush Administration to increase public school accountability. It also increased the focus on reading in the public schools, and gave parents more choices as to where to send their children to school. NCLB is part of what’s known as “standards-based education reform,” which involves reforming schools primarily through improving kid’s test scores. Schools that fail to meet the NCLB standards are held accountable and are penalized in various ways–including offering parents the option to transfer their kids out of schools who fail to meet the standards two year in a row.
The goal of NCLB is to raise standards throughout America and to put pressure on under-performing schools to improve. However, NCLB has received a great deal of criticism, and many Democratic and Republican lawmakers want to either scrap it or make significant modifications. Some criticisms of NCLB include:
Barack Obama on No Child Left Behind
Barack Obama is no fan of No Child Left Behind. Here’s what he has to say about it:
John McCain on No Child Left Behind
John McCain calls NCLB a “good beginning.” His message is to improve it and not discard it, and warns that it’s important to not discard it altogether. Here’s what McCain has to say about NCLB: