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‘No Child Left Behind’ is Left Behind

Jake Duffy | Opinions

Wave good-bye to NCLB. It's replacement promises more flexibility and local control over curriculum. Photo: Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images

Wave good-bye to NCLB. It’s replacement promises more flexibility and local control over curriculum. Photo: Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images

The No Child Left Behind Act was a bill enacted during the Bush administration to increase student achievement for all America students equally while improving the quality of teachers and administrators. Overall, schools were responsible for student outcomes, but, unfortunately, this systematic change failed miserably.  NCLB increased federal involvement in schools making most schools follow a regulated diet of standardized tests focusing mainly on math and reading rather than social studies, foreign language, and the arts. Over the years, state standardized tests have increased and more regulations on graduation requirements have been established, loading more stress on students, teachers, and administrators, until now.

President Obama reversed the current education policy by introducing the newest bill, called the ‘Every Student Succeeds Act’. The act will ensure much less federal involvement in the success of students, and states will have more freedom to construct what they believe will be the most operable education system for their state. The international education system no longer will be living by the desire to teach for tests, but to increase the versatility of its subjects to mold minds rather than regulate them. The new act will affect La Cueva and the rest of the APS school system by ending state test regulations and making us, the students, feel and be more intellectually liberated.

The newest act seems to be giving educational systems more flexibility than freedom, though. Testing will still be required by the government; although, schools now are able to break down these tests into smaller ones and arrange them at different times of the year. Common Core, widely considered a destructive set of standards, is now an option for schools instead of a policy. Schools will be able to either use Common Core or incentivize their own curriculum, but luckily the education department is to remain neutral on curriculum, encouraging state choice rather than federal.

NCLB enforced abrasive accountability standards by making schools test incessantly to almost create progress from subgroups and minorities out of thin air. The new system will leave these standards up to the state, making schools more flexible for all learning styles rather than trying to equalize them all. The ‘Every Student Succeeds Act’ seems to be taking a more flexible, state based, and free action towards developing minds. La Cueva students and teachers should expect relief, variety, and fun in class with the basis no longer about regulation, but about individual progress.

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