What is No Child Left Behind?

Updated April 27, 2021 | Staff Writers

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What is No Child Left Behind?

The policies of No Child Left Behind were created at the beginning of the high-stakes testing movement, and they are the standards that have been used to adjust education many times over. They are used today as a template for what many people call common core, but they are outdated in many ways. This article explains how the No child Left Behind act became a pariah in education that left the nation with many tests to take.

Using Its Own Curriculum

The law was passed in a way that forced all schools to adopt some form of the curriculum in their buildings, and they were asked to give their teachers many training hours on the topic. They were changing how they did their jobs, and there are many goals that simply could not be met because they were not thought over properly.

Staying On Grade Level

NCLB became a call for lawmakers to be more practical in their laws, and there are many people who are not going to be on grade level because that is not how they learn. Students will do quite well in school, but they may not make it to grade level because that is not how they will succeed. There are other students who cannot be on grade level because of special needs, but they will contribute to society all the same.


High-stakes testing has become a norm in American because of NCLB, and there are quite a few people who are not high on the idea of giving children tests all the time. A significant portion of the school year is spent in testing, and there is no way for the nation to pull back from testing because there are companies making quite a lot of money from the tests. They will continue to profit because the contracts are large, and the testing has been in the system long enough to make everyone believe it will solve their problems. Educational leaders are calling for less testing, but they cannot make a major shift after the events of the signing of NCLB.

The Curriculum Is Restrictive

Many people found No Child Left Behind to be restrictive because it focused on a few narrow concepts that did not help child learn to think. This was the first time the mass media was calling for the education system to teach children to think, and there are many others who believe it is possible for the system to help kids learn to do the work of the future simply by allowing them to explore. The lack of exploration in the system of NCLB is a problem that many teachers are still grappling with to this day.

The students who are learning under the old NCLB guidelines will have quite a time getting out from under the restrictive rules that were put in place. Someone who wishes to learn more in school has a hard time because there are no parameters for them to do so, and they will find it quite difficult to go on in school as they have not received all the proper information. The newest standards are much easier to follow, and they serve as an improvement of what was released in the past for the nation's schools.

Related Resource: The 25 Best Online Masters in Elementary Education Degree Programs

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