The 2001 No Child Left Behind Law focused on the use of standardized test scores in schools that would help establish measurable goals and improve individual outcomes in education. Since the laws enactment the Obama administration’s new education law, enacted in 2011, has sought to free states from it and 10 states have already done so.
The No Child Left Behind required all students to be 100 percent proficient in math and reading by 2014. According to Winnie Hu, New York Times reporter, the 2014 deadline for math and reading proficiency was an “impossibly high bar”.
Although the NCLB law had the right idea, to improve on academic standards in U.S. schools, its primary focus was on testing in math and reading. Schools and parents had criticized the law for sometime. Schools concentrated so “intensively” on testing in those subjects, that science, social studies and the arts became insignificant topics.
The Obama administration’s education law would focus on “Higher, more honest standards”, according to Caren Bohan, Reuter’s reporter. The new law will put into place accountability systems that would reward high performing schools and single out low performing schools. It will also develop and implement plans for improving student achievement and closing achievement gaps.
Many educators have turned their attention from the NCLB law and are focusing on adopting the Common Core State Standards, a requirement under Obama’s new education plan. The Common Core State Standards is a new blueprint to raise academic achievement. It seeks to improve education in the classroom and help students reach their full potential. According to Emma Reicks, Tempe, Arizona Imagine Schools Instructional Data Coach, “I like the idea of the Common Core State Standards. I am a little afraid of its implementation.” The Common Core State Standards will be fully implemented in schools by the 2014-2015 academic school year. In Revolutionize Education, teachers reflect on the current state of America’s education system and whether or not a Common Core State Standards will raise the bar for academic achievement.
Will Obama’s new education law help to restore America’s public education system?