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Obama to Seek Sweeping Changes in “No Child Left Behind”

February 24, 2010

The implementation of No Child Left behind brought much excitement and anticipation to many. The original goal of the law was to improve student achievement and the achievement gap. However, over the past several years, educators, administrators, and even parents alike have realized that the expectations and outcomes of No Child Left Behind were unreasonable and unattainable. The Obama administration has decided that to make this law more realistic and achievable, it was time to re-write some of the requirements and recommendations of the law. The re-write of this law, if put into play, could change the future of the teaching field.

One major proposed revision by the Department of Education is the elimination the school rating system based on “adequate yearly progress” that is based on the students’ standardized test scores. The administration has also made clear its desire to erase the 2014 achievement deadline. The Obama administration believes that it is still to early to successfully achieve this goal the way it was designed to be met. However, a new goal has been recommended. The administration wants all high school graduates to to be ready to continue on to college or enter the career environment.

However, there are still some major issues that I have with No Child Left Behind that are not being addressed by the Obama administration. The current administration is cheering on a current federal grant program that is fostering competition between school districts across the country. The federal grant program is a competition between 40 states trying to receive $4 billion dollars in educational money. However, to receive this money, the schools are basing teacher evaluations on students’ test scores. States that do not allow schools to do this are actually not allowed to even attempt for the $4 billion in educational money. This really angers me. I do not think it is fair for some states to be deemed not eligible because of the way the laws set up teacher evaluations. In addition too, the schools that do participate in this grant are somewhat being punished. Teachers’ evaluations are being based on student test scores. However, I am a special education major, so what does that mean for my evaluation. Does that mean that I should receive a low evaluation because my students are in special education??

I do like the fact that the current administration is trying to resolve some of the issues within No Child Left Behind, however, there are still many issues that need to be resolved that are not being looked at. I hope that the changes that are being proposed do make a difference in the life’s of the children and educators in our schools. I also hope that the administration looks at more of the issues with No Child Left Behind and continues to make improvements and strides to correcting our current educational system.

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