Abolishing The No Child Left Behind Act- A Speech For My English Class

Have any of you heard of the no child left behind act of 2001? I’d like to propose the abolishment, or removal, of that bill. The act uses standards-based education, meaning the states are expected to ensure that their students are proficient by using the same tests and basic curriculum statewide. Now, it’s great that the government wants as many students to be proficient as possible, and the high expectations can push districts, schools, and teachers to do better, but in all actuality, it’s unrealistic. 100% student proficiency is a losing battle. As we lose this battle, what is called “proficient” is lowering nationwide to keep the students and school looking good and getting the funding they need.

It’s also surprisingly inaccurate- since states are responsible for making their own tests (Wyoming has PAWS, for example, and California has STAR’s), some states tests could be easier than others, reflecting badly on states with more challenging tests. Now, while it’s the teachers’ duty to ensure their students understand their subjects, we hold them responsible for way too much. For instance, if a teacher handling eleventh grade English gets a student who is reading at a 4th grade level and the student fails the standardized English test because of that, is it really the teacher’s fault? Or what if, and this happens all the time, a student just doesn’t care? What if they walk into the computer room knowing this test won’t affect their grade, and they refuse to try their hardest, or even to try at all?

With the nationwide No Child Left Behind act, the government has the right to use the results to determine how schools and even individual teachers are doing. Did you know that if it looks to the Department of Education like certain teachers just aren’t working with certain schools, those teachers can be relocated, or told to teach in a different district?

Last but not least, and the thing that I think is most important for our nation to ratify, is the fact that this bill seems to be failing students who are above average. This is because students who are making the required marks or better aren’t getting as much attention as they should be to continue growing, since teachers and school counselors are more focused on getting lower-leveled students up to par. As students, I’m sure we all know what it’s like to feel as though our questions are going unanswered because someone else needs more help than we do.
Well, without the No Child Left Behind act, districts and schools would be able to go at whatever pace their students seemed to need, and offer different classes in response. Students could be grouped into classes based more on their abilities, and not simply thrown together with the focus of getting everyone on the same level, which is often low anyways. This form of grouping is ideal because, as we all know, there will always be students who are above or below the average.

Our education system, which is ranked below half of all other first-world countries, is failing its students. The difference between us and them, which is leading us to failure? Other countries’ schools get to create their own curriculum, catering to student needs before government needs. If America could abolish the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, we could again be worldwide competitors in the education race. Until we do, we will continue to trail better-educated countries, left in the dust.
MissAmsr MissAmsr
18-21, F
1 Response Dec 6, 2012

i think that life is a test and ultimately, students will be exposed to that test. There has to be a standard of some kind, there was a time when having a high school diploma indicated some level of skills. Get the feds out of local life ! Get the "agenda" people out of education. Get parents involved. Don't expect a teacher to be able to do it all, all kids need some extra help in something, and the parents should step up to the plate and make sure they get it.