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Social Problem and Goal of NCLB

        "The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) was created to address the unsatisfactory learning outcomes of U.S. students, especially minority and poor students who continue to perform at significantly lower levels than their peers (Joftus & Maddox, 2004)."  The law makers of NCLB determined that schools were not creating successful graduates and too many students were not graduating at all.  These lawmakers decided that schools needed monitoring through yearly student testing in order ensure students were learning material deemed essential.  The problem is so extensive, that this year, 26 states are asking for waivers because states are still unable to meet the standards of NCLB (McNeil, 2012).   Poverty, job loss, lack of education funding/budget cuts, poor nutrition, racism, and class-ism are all factors that lead to an undereducated America.

        The education of the children in this country effects everyone, because children grow up and become adults who make decisions.  People should agree that the education of youth in this country is important; however, many people disagree with the No Child Left behind Act.  NCLB uses a test given on one day of the school year which can hurt students who would do well if the test were given on another day.  If a student doesn't get a good nights sleep, doesn't have a good breakfast, or doesn't feel well, the results of their end of grade exams can be negatively impacted.  A student who has been successful all year can have a bad day.
  
        Those against NCLB insist that the testing measures used by the program put unfair pressure on children and reflect negatively on schools that otherwise are preforming well.  Having so much emphasis on one test given on one day also promotes teaching to the test rather than promoting well rounded curriculum.  Many people opposed to NCLB cite that taking funding from under performing schools is counter-productive.  Who will these under-preforming schools find to help their students preform better?  While well-meaning and generous, unpaid volunteers are not usually the most qualified to teach students that are already deemed behind in their education.  Schools that are not performing to NCLB standards need more help, not less.  

        NCLB has many conflicting values within it.  Teaching is considered a noble, underpaid, profession, but NCLB treats teachers as disposable commodities by judging their ability to teach on one test and replacing them for failure to preform.  Also, federal funding for education is based on a school's ability to preform, but schools that are not preforming are the ones that need the most help. Finally, students attend school all year to have their education measured on just one day.  

        The basic goal of NCLB is to promote education by holding teachers and schools accountable for teaching students.  The sub goals of No Child Left Behind is to reward schools that preform well through additional funding.  These goals conflict because increasing funding to preforming schools creates a wider gap between students from schools that are meeting standards and students from schools that are not meeting standards which inevitably leaves more children behind.

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