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Research for paper on No Child Left Behind for future teachers

Research for paper on No Child Left Behind for future teachers

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Not written by me wrong or right I will always take credit for my work
Not written by me wrong or right I will always take credit for my work

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Published by: Val littlewolf Heike on Jul 23, 2012
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No child left behindBy Great Schools StaffSince the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law took effect in 2002, it has had a sweeping impact on U.S. public school classrooms. It affects what students are taught, the tests they take, the training of their teachers and the way money is spent on education.Debate rages over whether the law is an effective way to improve academic achievement. Congress was scheduled to decide whether to renew it in 2007. But effortsstalled amid criticism of the law from both Democrats and Republicans, and arguments over how to change it.The latest estimates, according to U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Ray Simon,are that NCLB will probably not be reauthorized until 2010. In the meantime, inOctober 2008, the U.S. Department of Education added new regulations to the lawwhich include requiring schools to provide a uniform calculation for high school graduation rates, and enhancing a parent's ability to access school choice andtutoring options for their children by requiring schools (and providing them with funds) to communicate to parents about their options in a timely and clear way.The Focus of the DebateNCLB's advocates say the landmark law holds schools accountable, empowers parents and is helping to close the achievement gap in America's schools.Many critics, including those who agree with the law's goals, argue that it is a"one-size-fits-all" approach to education that overemphasizes testing and doesn't provide enough money to schools to achieve success.As stricter testing requirements and penalties have taken effect, several stateshave rebelled, challenging the law in legislatures and the courts. In response,the U.S. Department of Education has given greater latitude to some districts and states in satisfying the law's provisions. That, in turn, has drawn criticismthat the federal government has gone too far and weakened the law so much thatit can't achieve its goals.For parents trying to figure out how NCLB affects their children, it can be tough to keep up with the fast-moving developments. Here's a primer:NCLB, Your Child and Your SchoolThe law may help your child in two ways:Your child may be eligible to move to a better school or could receive free tutoring.Your school could qualify for grants to use toward attracting top-notch teachersor other school programs.But your child and your school may not receive the full benefits if you don't ask for them. The U.S. Department of Education has neither the personnel nor the budget to make sure that all of the nation's public schools comply with NCLB's complicated regulations. Education officials have said from the start that the keyto enforcement would be parents who pressure schools to give their children theoptions provided by the federal law.The Law's Goals and What It SaysPhilosophy:The law, which was passed with bipartisan support, was designed to introduce national standards to a system in which students in some demographic groups were more likely to succeed and others likely to be left behind. But it allows states to determine how success is measured.Targets:States are required to set targets for overall achievement and for specific categories of students, such as English language learners or economically disadvantaged students. These targets determine whether the school makes "adequate yearlyprogress," or AYP, as measured by state standardized tests. A school can fail -even if it is making substantial progress for most of its students - if one category of students cannot meet the standards. The goal is for every student in public school to be proficient in reading and math by 2014.Testing:Students must be tested annually in reading and math in grades 3 through 8 and a
t least once in grades 10 through 12. Students must be tested in science in at least one grade in elementary, middle and high school. Schools that don't meet goals for their overall student bodies or specific categories of students are sanctioned.Affected schools:The law applies to schools that receive Title I money from the federal government. Schools that get Title I funds are generally those in which at least 35% of students are from low-income families. More than half of all public schools are Title I schools.How the Law Affects TeachersTeachers must be "highly qualified" to teach core academic subjects in every classroom. Specifically, an elementary school teacher must have a bachelor's degreeand pass a rigorous test in core curriculum areas. Middle and high school teachers must show they're competent in the subjects they teach by passing a test orby completing an academic major, graduate degree or comparable coursework.Research, including a 2006 study of three states by the think tank Education Trust, shows that students in schools with a large percentage of minority and low-income students are more likely to be taught by teachers who are inexperienced and lack a major or minor in the subjects they teach. The teacher qualification provisions of NCLB are aimed at insuring that schools where students tend to needthe most help employ teachers who are qualified to provide it. States have struggled to meet this goal.The law covers other teaching staff, too. Most teachers' aides and other "paraprofessionals" are now required to complete two years of college or an equivalenttype of training.Reading InstructionNCLB also requires teachers in kindergarten through third grade to teach readingbased on "scientifically based" research. Schools may be eligible for "ReadingFirst" grants to assist with improving reading instruction. Although this program has shown initial signs of effectiveness in helping to boost reading instruction, it came under scrutiny in September 2006 when a scathing report (PDF) by theOffice of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Education revealed that several members of the panel who award Reading First grants may have had conflicts of interest because they had ties to publishing companies which promoted specific reading materials with a specific philosophy.By GreatSchools StaffUnsafe SchoolsStates must have an "Unsafe School Choice Option"-that is, a plan that allows students to transfer to a safe school if they attend a school designated as a persistently dangerous school or if they become victims of violent crime.SanctionsThose that haven't met "adequate yearly progress" (AYP) for two consecutive school years are identified as "in need of improvement." Every student in the schoolwill be given the option to transfer to a better-performing school in the district, with free transportation included. However, NLCB requires that priority inproviding school choice be given to low-achieving children from low-income families.School districts may not use lack of space as a reason to deny a transfer, but they have some flexibility in meeting this requirement. School districts may restrict which schools are available for transfer and when transfers may occur. Theymay sign contracts with neighboring districts to accept students from failing schools, contract with online schools, create schools within schools, offer supplemental services a year early, hire more teachers, add portables or build new classrooms at more successful schools. If a school continues to fail to meet AYP,these sanctions take effect:After three consecutive years, the school must also provide "supplemental education services," or SES, to children who remain at the school. Those services caninclude tutoring, remedial classes, after-school services and summer school programs.The federal government has allowed some districts to switch the order of sanctio
ns. Students would be eligible for free tutoring if these schools fail to meet their goals for two years in a row and would then get the option to transfer if the school misses its goals a third time.After four consecutive years of failing to meet annual goals, the district musttake action to improve the school, such as replacing certain staff or implementing a new curriculum.After five years, the school is identified for restructuring and arrangements must be made to run it differently. These can include a state takeover, the hiringof a private management contractor, conversion to a charter school or significant staff restructuring.How Schools Can BenefitThere are rewards for schools that close achievement gaps between groups of students or exceed academic achievement goals. States can use federal funds to pay teachers bonuses, and they can designate schools that have made the greatest achievement gains as "Distinguished Schools."Other benefits of No Child Left Behind include:Grants for teacher training. Parents should be aware that districts have flexibility in how they can spend federal funds designed to find and retain quality teachers, including alternative certification, merit pay and bonuses for teachers of high-need subjects such as math and science.Grants for reading instruction. The goal of the Reading First program is to helpevery child learn to read using "scientifically based" research. States may apply for these grants for their reading programs.Flexibility in spending federal funds. School districts have considerable leewayin spending up to 50% of their non-Title I funds in categories such as teacherquality, technology, after-school learning, and Safe and Drug-Free schools. Forexample, a district may decide to spend 50% of its federal technology funds on recruiting quality teachers instead of technology.New regulations issued in October 2008 make it easier for schools to use Title I funds for outreach to parentsto make them aware of their school choice and free tutoring options.What Schools Must Tell ParentsAll schools and districts are required to make annual report cards available tothe public. The report cards must include details on:Student academic achievement for all student groupsA comparison of students at the basic, proficient and advanced levels of academic achievement within the school district and compared to other students statewideHigh school graduation rates and dropout ratesThe professional qualifications of teachersThe percentage of students not testedThe names of schools identified as "in need of improvement"The U.S. Department of Education also requires states to participate in NationalAssessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading and math assessments of fourth- and eighth-grade students every two years. These tests allow parents to compare how students are performing in different states. The NAEP results must also be included on school and district report cards.What Parents Can DoThe No Child Left Behind law was designed to hold schools more accountable and empower parents. Here are some steps you can take to make the law work for your child:Find out how your school is performing. You don't need to wait for the school report card to be issued; you can discover a great deal about your school by reading its school profile on GreatSchools.org. You can compare your school's performance to other schools by using our Compare Schools feature. To get an idea of how your school is performing nationally, visit the NAEP Web site.If you suspect your school may be a failing school, ask your principal or superintendent to clarify its status. If it is a failing school, thoroughly investigate your options for tutoring help or transfer.Ask your school principal what the school is doing to help close any achievementgaps between different groups of students. For example, if the test results of

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