No Child Left Behind: A Parent's Guide - Introduction and Overview
No Child Left Behind —The Law That Ushered in a New Era
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (No Child Left Behind) is a landmark in education reform designed to improve student achievement and change the culture of America’s schools. President George W. Bush describes this law as the “cornerstone of my administration.” Clearly, our children are our future, and, as President Bush has expressed, “Too many of our neediest children are being left behind.”
With passage of No Child Left Behind, Congress reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)—the principal federal law affecting education from kindergarten through high school. In amending ESEA, the new law represents a sweeping overhaul of federal efforts to support elementary and secondary education in the United States. It is built on four common-sense pillars: accountability for results; an emphasis on doing what works based on scientific research; expanded parental options; and expanded local control and flexibility.
What No Child Left Behind Does for Parents and Children
Supports learning in the early years, thereby preventing many learning difficulties that may arise later
Children who enter school with language skills and pre-reading skills (e.g., understanding that print reads from left to right and top to bottom) are more likely to learn to read well in the early grades and succeed in later years. In fact, research shows that most reading problems faced by adolescents and adults are the result of problems that could have been prevented through
good instruction in their early childhood years (Snow, Burns and Griffin 1998). It is never too early to start building language skills by talking with and reading to children. No Child Left Behind targets resources for early childhood education so that all youngsters get the right start.
Provides more information for parents about their child’s progress
Under No Child Left Behind, each state must measure every public school student’s progress in reading and math in each of grades 3 through 8 and at least once during grades 10 through 12. By school year 2007-2008, assessments (or testing) in science will be underway. These assessments must be aligned with state academic content and achievement standards. They will provide parents with objective data on where their child stands academically.
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