In January 2002 congress, with the encouragement of President Bush, passed a new act that was intended to prevent children from being left behind in education. No Child Left Behind is designed to change the culture of America's schools by closing the achievement gap, offering more flexibility, giving parents more options, and teaching students based on what works. This was and is a great idea. Children are our future and we need to make sure they get all the opportunities education can give them. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001(NCLB) is a well intentioned yet fundamentally flawed piece of legislation.
"No Child Left Behnd is based on testing, blaming and punishing," explained Lisa Guisbond, co-author of the FairTest report. "a more helpful accountability system would focus first on building the capacity of teachers, schools and districts to ensure that all children receive a high quality education that meets their individual needs."
Core elements of the accountability systems FairTest proposes to better promote school improvement include: use of multiple forms of evidence of student learning, not just test scores; extensive professional development that enables teachers to better assess and assist their students; incorporation of ongoing feedback to students about their performance to improve learning outcomes; public reporting on school progress in academic and non-academic areas, using a variety of information sources and including improvement plans; the sparing use of external interventions, such as school reorganization, to give reform programs the opportunity to succeed. "Assessment systems need to make public school accountable to parents, students and the local community rather than to distant government bureaucracies," Neill explained(www. FairTest.org).
High standards for the students as well as educators are quality goals for our nation; however, using standardized testing to measure our success is not the most effective method.