What is your view on No Child Left Behind law?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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As with most teachers, my views on this law are mostly negative.  The law has caused too much emphasis to be placed on testing and is rather punitive in dealing with schools that do not do well enough on the tests.  It has also set unrealistic expectations for schools.

Of course, it is very important that we ensure that all of our students achieve as much as they possibly can.  However, it will never be the case that all students will be up to grade level at all times in all subjects.  Some students do not care enough.  Others have family situations that make it very hard for them to do well enough in school.  One way or another, someone will always be behind.  Expecting schools to get 100% of students to grade level is unrealistic and frustrating to all involved.

Putting so much emphasis on testing is bad too.  It makes everyone involved extremely nervous and stressed.  It is also not necessarily a good way to educate people.  If tests are not extremely well made, they will not be a good measure of whether students are learning what they need to know.  Teachers will be pressured to simply "teach to the test" and will not be able to do the broader sorts of activities that help students become truly well-educated.

All in all, I think the goals of the law are admirable but that the law itself is deeply flawed.

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