no child left behind

no child left behind

It’s the End of No Child Left Behind: Now What?

Five months ago, President Obama began releasing schools from the requirements set out for them in the No Child Left Behind education law. Today, more than half of the schools in the nation are free from these requirements. This is leading some to ask whether No Child Left Behind has been nullified.

On July 6, the Department of Education released two more states – Washington and Wisconsin – from the law. This means that now 26 states do not have to meet the requirements set forth by No Child Left Behind in order to receive federal funding. An additional 10 states and the District of Columbia are on the waiting list to be released from No Child Left Behind.

“The more waivers there are, the less there really is a law, right?” said Andy Porter, dean of the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. Read the rest of this entry »



President Obama Waives No Child Left Behind Requirements in 10 States

U.S. Department of Educaiton No Child Left Behind SealWhen No Child Left Behind was first created, everyone thought it would be a great thing and would really accomplish its goal of getting every child in the USA up to par in the fields of math and reading by 2014. However, with the deadline drawing closer and closer, it is becoming obvious that many schools are going to fall short. This is the reason why President Barack Obama recently let 10 states off the hook and freed them from the requirements that the program enforced on schools. The states are Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.

President Obama said that he took action and released the states from their contracts because Congress has not updated the law, even though many agreed that it desperately needed to be fixed.

“If we’re serious about helping out children reach their potential, the best ideas aren’t going to come from Washington alone,” Obama said. “Our job is to harness those ideas, and to hold states and schools accountable for making them work.”

These 10 states aren’t the only ones who asked for a waiver to free them from No Child Left Behind. There are 28 other states that have plans on seeking waivers. Under the new waivers, the schools no longer have to prove that every student is proficient in reading and math; instead, the school must prepare students for either a higher education or a career, develop evaluation systems for teachers and principals, and establish new target goals for improvement among all students.

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Obama Offers Waivers to States Struggling to Meet No Child Left Behind

Secretary of Education Arne DuncanIn a speech this morning, President Obama announced large-scale changes to the federal No Child Left Behind education law, alongside Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. States will now be allowed to receive waivers from certain parts of No Child Left Behind, as long as they agree to take steps towards improving schools and increasing accountability.

“The goals behind No Child Left Behind were admirable … but experience has taught us that in its implementation, [it] had some serious flaws that are hurting our children,” said Obama. Some states have relaxed their standards in order to meet the requirements dictated by No Child Left Behind and many educators feel that learning suffers when teachers are pushed to “teach to the test, two problems the new policy hopes to amend.

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Atlanta Schools Cheat to Improve Public Image

What would you do if your teacher offered you assistance on a standardized test? I have never been in this situation, and I am very thankful for that, but many students in Atlanta’s public school system have been and the whistle was blown on this systematic cheating scandal in early July, 2011.

On July 5, 2011, a state investigation was released. This investigation showed that there had been rampant, systematic cheating on test scores in Atlanta’s public schools for the past several years. The cheating was wide-spread throughout the district and involved 44 schools and at least 178 teachers and principals. This cheating possibly occurred due to pressures to raise the schools’ public images as a long-trouble district or in order to meet standards set forth by the No Child Left Behind Act.

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Majority of Schools May Miss No Child Left Behind Guidelines

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is expressing concern for America’s schools. As high as 82 percent of schools in the nation could fail to meet the goals set by the No Child Left Behind law. This percentage is 45 percent higher than the failing numbers of 2010.

Duncan is calling for Congress to examine the law put in place by the Bush administration to make sure students get the best possible education. Unfortunately, No Child Left Behind created numerous ways for schools to fail but very few ways for schools to succeed. Duncan believes that the current rules prevent states from tailoring the school curriculum because all states are required to use uniform standards. Duncan’s assessment and proposal to change the law have been met with some criticism that changing things would give underperforming schools a free pass.

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White House Aims to Revamp No Child Left Behind Law

A goal has been set to revamp the No Child Left Behind law prior to when students start their school year this fall by the Obama administration. This timeframe is likely to interfere with the priorities of congressional Republicans. The administration believes that the law needs to be more flexible and reduce Washington’s role in setting educational standards in some cases. The focus right now for GOP lawmakers is jobs and the state of the economy. This means that the White House will have to persuade GOP lawmakers to move the No Child Left Behind Law up on their priority list. President Obama has made it known that he believes reforming the law this year is a key priority. The president wants the law redefined so that it focuses more on responsibility, reform and results.

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Failing Army Tests Point to Education Shortfalls

The nation’s education crisis is constantly being placed under a microscope. All states are dealing with students failing classes, escalating dropout rates and schools having below average standardized test scores. Each time there is an analysis of the public school system, there are proposed solutions and changes that are recommended. Now the education problem is reaching into branches of the military.

It has been found recently that 23 percent of those wanting to enter the army are unable to pass the entrance test. The questions to the test are basic and the army is known for having the easiest test of all branches of military. This comes after the No Child Left Behind Act has been in place for years. Those taking the tests are high school graduates and still cannot seem to pass the test. Of all the other statistics placed on the education system in the United States, this should serve as a call to action.

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California Teachers’ Candidate Wins Superintendent Position

With elections still fresh in the minds of voters, there are some noteworthy wins that took place in our country. One such win occurred in California for the Superintendent of Public Instruction position. This office is the highest level educator in the state and provides direction to the school districts of California and serves on state governing boards. One of the candidates vying for this position in the election was Larry Aceves who is a former teacher, county superintendent and principal.

The other candidate was veteran state assemblyman and former teacher Tom Torlakson who was supported by the California Federation of Teachers. Torlakson was the victor in Tuesday’s election gaining almost 55 percent of the votes, which is great news for California public school teachers. Torlakson is known widely for being a fan of the book The Death and Life of the Great American School System which criticizes charter schools and business-driven school reforms, as well as the No Child Left Behind program. Read the rest of this entry »



President Obama to Improve National Education Levels

obama educationIn his weekly address on March 13, 2010, President Obama said he plans on overhauling the education system and the No Child Left Behind program. President Obama said he intends to send a new blueprint for national education to Congress this week that will “improve schools, support teachers and set standards that will give high school graduates ‘the best chance to succeed in a changing world.’”

President Obama said this redraft was necessary to combat the trend of lowering education standards in America. He pointed to the past few decades as an example of how American students are not as competitive as foreign students.

“Unless we step up, unless we take action, there are countless children who will never realize their full talent and potential,” President Obama said during his weekly address. Read the rest of this entry »



Underprivileged Students in Chicago Get the Opportunity of a Lifetime

no child left behindJust because students attended low-scoring elementary schools in Chicago doesn’t mean they can’t succeed in high school. Thanks to the No Child Left Behind Law, four selective-enrollment high schools in Chicago are accepting 100 top students from these low-scoring schools. These high schools are some of “the highest-scoring and most sought-after high schools in Chicago,” according to the Chicago Sun Times.

For students who now get to attend these schools, it is the opportunity of a lifetime. These college prep schools will offer the students more chances to succeed and improve their chances of attending college.

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