The primary goals of NCLB are that:

  • All students will achieve high academic standards by attaining proficiency or better in reading and mathematics by the 2013–2014 school year.
  • Highly qualified teachers will teach all students
  • All students will be educated in schools and classrooms that are safe, drug free, and conducive to learning.
  • All limited English proficient students will become proficient in English.
  • All students will graduate from high school.

These goals will pose great challenges for schools, school districts, and states. NCLB requires states to test students to ensure that these goals are met, and it holds schools, school districts, and states accountable for making demonstrable improvements toward meeting these goals. In an effort to assist states to achieve these goals, Congress significantly increased federal spending on education and gave states greater flexibility to use federal funds in ways that will be of the greatest benefit to individual school districts. Although we may debate about how realistic these goals are, and many have, we can all agree that these goals will require a fundamental change in the ways we measure student progress.