No Child Left Behind Act of 2001

  1. I have seen references to this Act in some of the more heated discussions regarding President Bush and I've seen a number of people say that they "hate" the new Act, but I haven't seen much in-depth discussion about it. I want to know why people "hate" this new Act. From doing some reading on my own, this is what I know about it: (broad overviews)

    *Annual testing
    *Proficiency, with private tutoring and other options made available to students who do not meet minimum expectations
    *Teacher requirements - in that a teacher must be qualified to teach the subject area

    Among a few of the provisions.

    I am a nurse educator and I train new hires in my hospital system. I work specifically with non-professional staff and what I have seen of the CNAs who come out of a 4 week program (and apparently a graduate of high schools) is very poor literacy and poor math skills. These CNAs can not accurately add up I&O's yet they graduated from HS. How did this happen? I know this did not happen overnight and I know this is not an isolated phenonenom. I've had to adjust my training courses to include basic reading, writing, speaking and math skills, instead of nursing concepts. The educational standards the USA seems to have are poor if this is what is coming out of HS. Based on this, I am in favor of this Act.

    Why are you NOT in favor of this Act?
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  2. 28 Comments

  3. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I am in favor of the theory of "No Child Left Behind", yes. But it's a lot of words, little FUNDING and FOLLOW-THROUGH to back them up. Simple as that. My son was pulled out of school because if you ask me, the whole darn urban district his school was in, is being "left behind". They test here for "progress", but it 's a joke. The teachers, like trained seals, teach to the test, and no more. What choice do they have, really? This annual assessment is held over their collective heads, much like a dagger.

    I don't find that very useful OR imaginative. Not all kids' progress can be assessed by a uniform testing system that leaves a lot of them OUT of a mainstream "loop" of sorts.


    To me it is simple. If you are going to implement an ambitious ideal like "No Child Left Behind", you best put your money where your MOUTH is. So far, that trickle-down is not being seen where I am.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Jul 6, '04
  4. by   Q.
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    They test here for "progress", but it 's a joke. The teachers, like trained seals, teach to the test, and no more. What choice do they have, really? This annual assessment is held over their collective heads, much like a dagger.

    Ahh, the teaching to the test debate. An interesting one at best that probably could be it's own thread.

    There *is* a difference between teaching the test and teaching TO the test though (tons of reading on it if you google it).
  5. by   lisamc1RN
    The thing that I "hate" most about Bush's No Child Left Behind is that because teachers are teaching to a test, they are unable to teach the things that will really help children to NOT be left behind . I teach my children at home, through a charter school program that is funded by the state. I was sent so many booklets and was set up with so many computer programs that were directly related to passing these doggone tests that I had to skip many lessons in order to make sure that my child was ready to go into these so called proficiency exams. We spent a lot of time just teaching "how to pass the proficiency exams" because if we didn't, there is the threat that the school would be penalized, or worse, shut down. These tests are getting in the way of true education. I even had to have my kindergartner take the IOWA because they wanted her to start practicing test taking skills now.

    It is downright frustrating that there is this threat looming over the heads of the school, thus the parents that if our children can't pass this test (which, btw, is not standardized throughout the nation) then we will be penalized. I obviously think that there are some high standards that we must have for schools and teachers (such as high quality curriculum, teachers who are proficient and capable, and smaller classes ), but all of this testing of the students in not one of them. This past school year, I took my 8 year old daughter to 3 different tests, where she spent all day focussed on saving the school's butt by passing her tests.

    What do I think is the answer? I am very much for vouchers, so that students, mostly poorer, who live in school districts that aren't making the grade, can choose a school that is! For me, I chose not to put my children in school at all. This coming school year, I have two children I will be putting into private school.
  6. by   Q.
    Since the teaching to the test concept seems to be the biggest barrier with this Act, how do you feel this relates to nursing schools who focus on teaching to NCLEX?
  7. by   lisamc1RN
    I can't comment on the NCLEX as yet, as I haven't even started school, and the only thing I know about it is that it is vital to pass it! The only thing I know about is that I have a Show What You Know 4th grade proficiency workbook that is a half an inch thick that I worked with my son on, and a half a dozen websites (most of which the school had to pay for membership for) that have several practice tests on them that I took both my son and daughter through, in order to prepare them for this test. I much rather would have been teaching them multiplication, social studies, and other important things, but instead devoted a great deal of time to making sure that my kids learned how to take tests.
  8. by   traumaRUs
    My husband is a high school teacher and what this means for him is that no one is failed - they are remediated or expelled if they refuse to come to class. Not a real workable solution in high schools where the poverty rate is 80%.
  9. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from Susy K
    Since the teaching to the test concept seems to be the biggest barrier with this Act, how do you feel this relates to nursing schools who focus on teaching to NCLEX?
    I guess I was very unclear in my post Suzy. I am sorry for that. Let me say it again: Teaching to a test, to me, is not the biggest barrier to this act. It's making FUNDING available UNIVERSALLY (no child left behind, right?)----to make it a real and viable act. And ACT would imply MAKING IT HAPPEN, not just talking about an ideal. It does not a lick of good to spew rhetoric about "leaving no child behind" when we don't put our MONEY where our MOUTHS are! And that money needs to trickle down to ALL kids, not just those in affluent or visible areas.

    And no, I don 't believe in "teaching to a test" in the elementary, middle and high school years. I think often we are interfering with a plethora of learning that COULD be taking place. It's unimaginative and in some cases, discriminatory. I have had to deal with public schools as a parent, and until you do, you may not understand how this affects you to see your kids assessed in such a short-sighted way. But that is indeed a different debate. I have digressed , and taken the focus off the original point of your post here, so I will leave it at that. Sorry about that Suzy. I do hope I was clearer this time.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Jul 6, '04
  10. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from traumaRUs
    My husband is a high school teacher and what this means for him is that no one is failed - they are remediated or expelled if they refuse to come to class. Not a real workable solution in high schools where the poverty rate is 80%.
    well there ya have it.
  11. by   Q.
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    I guess I was very unclear in my post Suzy. I am sorry for that. Let me say it again: Teaching to a test, to me, is not the biggest barrier to this act. It's making FUNDING available UNIVERSALLY (no child left behind, right?)----to make it a real and viable act.
    What funding is not universally available? In the reading I have done I haven't seen much about this. What exactly is not funded or not equally distributed? The way I understood it, ANY student who fails proficiency is offered private tutoring, etc. Am I wrong?

    As far as this
    they are remediated or expelled if they refuse to come to class. Not a real workable solution in high schools where the poverty rate is 80%.
    I guess I don't see what is wrong with remediation. Explusion maybe, but then I'm faced with the dilemma of what other options could there be? If expelling students who refuse to come to class isn't viable, how is passing them from grade to grade any better? Because then what we have is a CNA who took a 4 week course and can not write, speak or do basic math and are endangering patients and costing the health care system thousands of dollars by designing classes intended for "professionals" but in reality are teaching basic 4th grade lessons. I don't think throwing money at them will help either, because you'll still have students who don't come to class.
    Last edit by Susy K on Jul 6, '04
  12. by   elkpark
    http://nochildleft.com/2003/sum03wmd.html

    Here is one link to a website that talks about what people DON'T like about the NCLB Act. Obviously, it has an agenda, and I'm not making any claim that it is unbiased, but the OP asked what people don't like about it, so here is one source ...

    Many school systems are upset that the federal law requires them to spend lots of money (that they don't have), but the federal govt. has not provided the money it is requiring them to spend -- what is referred to in govt. circles as an "unfunded mandate."

    Rod Paige, the Sec. of Education, was nominated by Shrub for his position because of the supposedly fabulous job he had done turning around the public school system in Houston, TX and the NCLB Act was based on the so-called "Houston Miracle". However, it came out in 2003 that the Houston school system had faked the numbers to make it look like they were doing much better than they actually were -- so the entire NCLB Act is based on faulty data.

    Here is a link to a previous Allnurses thread on this topic:

    http://allnurses.com/forums/showthread.php?t=55344
  13. by   wjf00
    This is how Bush's "no Child Left Behind" initiative works: While terrorists were attacking the World Trade Center, he sat there in the classroom dumbfounded, and did nothing. ..... No child left behind.
  14. by   fergus51
    Newsweek had a great special on education celebrating the 40th aniversary of Brown vs board of education. It pointed out that funding is still the biggest barrier for schools trying to educate underpriviledged children. Tests and school vouchers make for good pr (cause we all like the concept of accountability), but they don't do much.

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