There is a lot of talk in the education world about No Child Left Behind (NCLB). But what is it really? I found a pamphlet called “A Quick Guide to Understanding No Child Left Behind” published by the Center for Effective Parenting. Over the next few days, I will be touching on NCLB to hopefully help answer your questions.
The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law helps make schools more accountable for improving the academic achievement of students. NCLB requirements include the following:
• Requiring states to set academic standards for specific grade levels. These standards indicate what students should know at each grade level. The State must then determine whether or not students are achieving these standards through testing.
• States must test all students in grades 3-8 every year. They must also test students at least once between 9th and 12th grade. This testing is used to determine the percentage of students in different grades who are considered “proficient” in specific subjects such as reading and math.
• NCLB requires that 100% of students be proficient (on grade level) in reading and math by 2014.
• Each year, a higher percentage of students are required to be proficient (at grade level) in order to reach the goal of 100% by 2014. Schools whose students achieve that year’s target percentage are considered to be making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).
• If a Title I school (schools that serve many low-income families and receive extra federal funding) fails to meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for two consecutive years, the school is identified as being in “Year 1 of School Improvement.” If they do not make AYP the following year, they are in “Year 2 of School Improvement.” If they continue to not make AYP, they move into subsequent years of School Improvement status. There are additional consequences for each year a school remains in School Improvement Status (see the School Improvement Status table). Schools move out of School Improvement Status when they make AYP for two consecutive years.
• Information on whether your child’s school is in School Improvement Status is available on most State’s education webpage.