Will Standardized Testing Produce Standardized Students?

Examining the impact of the “No Child Left Behind” Act of 2001.

This paper discusses the main principle behind the “No Child Left Behind” Act of 2001 – that students would be tested in reading and math every year from 3rd grade on. It shows how schools which score well would be rewarded while those that score poorly would be punished. The paper questions whether this is a good plan and whether it will make education in America better.
“No Child Left Behind is based on seven principles. First, (and most controversially) there is to be accountability of results. This means that in grades 3-8 students will take tests in reading and math and parents will receive school and state report cards. The data will also be made available to the public. Second, the program is designed to create flexibility at the state and local level and reduce red tape, although critics do not agree with this assertion. Ten programs were cut or consolidated at the U.S. Department of Education and schools now have the flexibility to transfer up to 50 percent of the funds they receive from the federal government into alternative programs. (This does not include Title I funds). Third, HR 1 expanded options for parents of children from disadvantaged backgrounds by providing additional funds for school choice, supplemental services, and charter schools. Fourth, HR 1 tripled the amount of federal money appropriated for reading programs. Fifth, the bill required that a fully qualified teacher be in every classroom by 2005. Sixth, there is a confirming process to ensure standardized test quality. Finally, measures were taken to help limited English proficient (LEP) students learn English quickly.”