No Child Left Behind and Its Implications What does one mean when they say, "NCLB means no." I saw this statement in a powerpoint presentation, and was curious to see what you think the line implies.  

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As we enter the end of the academic year, another problem I would throw out there for NCLB is the fact that after high stakes testing is completed many teachers and students "coast" to the end of the year.  My school district exempts any student from their final exam who scores commended on our State Test.  People talk about the instructional time preparing for these tests devours, but most don't consider that for a MONTH after the exams there are countless videos and free days across the country because the students, teachers, and administrators feel the real work of the year is over.

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NCLB means no to a lot of things so it is difficult to single out what the author of the PowerPoint in question might have meant.  It could be that NCLB means no to electives, art, music, and other extra curricular activities.  NCLB is one of those programs that looks great on paper but is terrible in practice.  The intent of the program was honorable but the application has been horrible for teachers, students, and schools. 

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NCLB has actually had a negative impact on the classroom with its attendance requirements. The way it is structured pressures schools to meet attendance targets, which means keeping students in school who would previously have been suspended or expelled. These students are then basically "housed" in classrooms, where they continue to be discipline problems. Make no mistake about it, undisciplined students reduce a teacher's effectiveness. Hence, in this sense, NCLB has undermined the classroom environment.

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My biggest problem with No Child Left Behind is that it places too much focus on bringing every child up to average and not enough emphasis on getting the average children up to exceptional.  In many schools the best teachers are put with the slowest children in hopes of getting them up to a basic level of understanding, and the worst teachers are put with the best students because those kids will be able to get to a basic level of understanding with little or no help.

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Perhaps this statement means "No Child Left Behind" means a negative effect--a "no," so to speak.  For, the premise of NCLB is erroneous since if no child is left behind, some child must be held up in progress and others are neglected while servicing the student who has more particular and serious needs.  In other words, the concept of "No Child Left Behind" is illogical.

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I wonder if that statement implies that NCLB means "no" to any real education, or "no" to students.  I think we would need to know the context of the statement, whether it was an anti-NCLB presentation or a pro-NCLB presentation to make a better guess.  Certainly, from my perspective as a teacher and a parent, I would agree that NCLB has meant no real education for our students because everyone must now concern him or herself with standardized test results, which seldom are a good form of assessing true learning. 

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Are you sure that there wasn't more to it?  I mean, it might have meant that NCLB means no time for art or no time for PE.  It could mean that NCLB means no more time for anything but test prep.  But I've never heard a simple "NCLB means no."

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Aside from being a vaguely negative comment about NCLB, I can't imagine what it means. There are many problems with No Child Left Behind, which I have heard described as "No Teacher Left Standing." Among them is the accusation that it makes unfunded mandates on states, and especially that it places an undue emphasis on standardized testing.

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