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Pros and Cons of the No Child Left Behind Act

Gaynor Borade
The 'No Child Left Behind Act' of 2001 is also referred to as 'nicklebee'. This act proposed by president George W. Bush, increased primary and secondary school accountability towards assisting parents in their choice of an institution for their children.
The NCLB act, proposed and promoted by President George W. Bush, is applicable to all school districts, to ensure that every parent is empowered with the right to send their child or children to the school that they choose.
The rostrum for every child to be educated as a matter of right offers parents the chance to tap federal legislation to further the interests of outcome and standards-based education.
NCLB helps the parent community to set high standards for academic excellence alongside the school management and address methods for developing school assessment patterns.
The exclusion of a national achievement standard makes room for individual state authorities and school principals to collaborate under the specifications of the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
It has provisions for every school to make public names and contact details of all the enrolled students to institutions that deliver higher education and the military recruitment team.
Whether or not the Act is effective is a matter of debate and deliberation; nevertheless, it cannot be denied that school accountability for outcomes has led to higher achievement records. Its focus is on effective instruction, systematic testing, increased federal funding for education and listing of 'failing' schools that could be opted out of.

Pros And Cons Of No Child Left Behind Act

Here's a section that highlights the pros and cons of the NCLB Act.


  • State-wise standardized tests have resulted in a higher enrollment for courses in mathematics than ever before.
  • Best nine-year-old scoring history since 1971.
  • Academic improvement in all subject categories.
  • Legislation-encouraged accountability in public schools to provide additional educational options.
  • Negligible achievement gap between white students and the minorities.
  • Measurement based performance assessment.
  • Detailed report cards explaining AYP performance, recommended para-professional or parental involvement, preferred line of curriculum, and instruction practice for each child.
  • Special focus on students from low-income groups and disabilities.
  • Increased responsibility towards ethnic subgroups by awarding schools adequate rating and recognition for measured school performance.
  • Improved instruction and classroom practices and scope for more parent involvement.
  • Funding for school technology used in classrooms as part of NCLB, is administered by the Enhancing Education Through Technology Program (EETT) funding for technology used within classrooms, professional teacher training, and development of online assessment interfaces.


  • Lack of desired federal intervention to address random subject choice for teachers.
  • Inadequate oversight in the case of special education.
  • Manipulated test records and results.
  • Lowered official state standards to earn incentives from improvement via standardized tests.
  • Choice of select skills subsets to increase test performances leading to misinterpretation of educational outcome.
  • Inherent cultural disparity since each culture is naturally gifted with certain skills.
  • Lack of sensitivity towards Disabilities Education for the visually impaired and others.
  • Inappropriate dispossession of students who fail to meet desired performance levels for the school to earn incentive.
  • Forced, mandatory curriculum in reading, writing, and arithmetic, impairing grade advancement.
  • Restricted and almost absent non-English test assessments.
  • Limited scope for research-based case studies, within the "one size fits all" policy.
The Joint Organizational Statement is a proposal for changes within the federal education law pertaining to the No Child Left Behind Act. The goal is to address re-authorization of the law. Education critics are addressing a reform to reduce the inequality of test-preparation drills and academic gap between disadvantaged children and normal peers.
The goals of the Joint Organizational Statement Commission include:
  • Improved accountability via accurate assessments.
  • Fair evaluation of student progress.
  • Enhanced preparatory curriculum for higher education and vocational training.
  • Increased parental involvement.
  • Systemic upgrades to improve learning and teaching.