No Child Left Behind Law: The Teacher’s Opinion


The purpose of the photo is to depict the testing room and the signs that are scattered around the schools as the event is going on. The color resembles caution, and the bold print signifies that there will be consequences if the rules are not followed adequately.

Lany Campbell, Staff Writer

The original “No Child Left Behind” Act was passed in 2002 by George W. Bush. This law significantly increased the federal role in holding schools responsible for the academic progress of all students….it put a special [emphasis] on ensuring that states and schools boost the performance of certain groups of students…whose achievement, on average, trails their peers”. If states did not comply, they risked losing their federal Title I money.


The act was replaced by the “Every Student Succeeds Act” by Barrack Obama during his presidency in 2015. The act itself provides “critical protections for America’s disadvantaged and high-need students”, “ensures that vital information is provided to educators, families, students, and communities through annual statewide assessments that measure the student’s progress toward those high standards”, “maintains an expectation that there will be accountability and action to effect the positive change in our lowest-performing schools, where groups of students are not making progress, and where graduation rates are low over extended periods of time” and “States are required to adopt ‘challenging’ academic standards. That could be the Common Core State Standards..”


The way our society has been run since the passing of the aforementioned law has been excessive testing in order to gage the success of the student body, and the success of a teacher’s career. Because a test can predict if a student did everything the teacher asked them to complete, and the student will, of course, never feel anxious when pressured to construct an essay to perfection in an hour and a half; when the majority of the time is supposed to be spent reading and analyzing documents that may or may not have relevance to the prompt, and they may or may not fit into particular categories to answer said prompt. The student body not only enjoys the excessive amounts of testing, but they especially look forward to this time of year. It is the best way to determine the “survival of the fittest” mentality, and “until the students start caring” the testing anxiety won’t change, nor will the disagreements because the students are experiencing the “close of the achievement gap”; which increases the ability to improve, grow and expand knowledge as well as ensure that the favored teacher will be able to teach their desired subject or even keep their own job. Right?


In reality, education can either be used for the way it was intended, or for a political chess game where students’ ability to comprehend their surroundings on the level of an intellectual are determined by capitalist parrots who only seek one of two things: money or power. Unlike the people who actually see the population row and expand and see the havoc these exams are having on children who, even though they consider themselves an adult, are truly not prepared to expose themselves to the real world because we are too busy holding the hands of those who cannot keep up, and stupefying the intelligent. Because it creates a society that is equal, and it eradicates the wealth gap. It puts everyone on the same playing level. It keeps the ones who wish to know more bored out of their ever living minds and it keeps the ones who are struggling on the struggle bus enough to hold the rest of the population down to the average level. “On paper it is great: everybody gains a certain degree of mastery. The problem: you’re teaching to the middle. It is more wise to bring everyone to the center” because it eradicates the opportunity for social mobility. The intellectuals can either be a role-model or a hindrance. Bore the intelligent enough with stupidity, and then they will withhold their intelligence, thus creating the environment for the pawns to remain ignorant.



The by-product of this? Absolutely no creativity what-so-ever. No more innovation. No more music. All that will be is a world that is focused on nothing more than being the society’s machine workers to keep her gears well-oiled, give her the money she needs to survive, and give her our thoughts and feelings while the rest of the world progresses into a new realm of intellectual ability. Why is this? It is because without competition, there is no motivation to improve. They say the tests are to help aid, but in reality hey only control the population and hinder the amount of information given.


There are teachers who teach to the test like they are asked. Do they like to do that? Probably not, but they do that to keep their jobs, and to appease the scoring system so they can provide for their families. Then there are the teachers who do not teach just to the test. They add additional information to the lecture in order to provoke independent thought and understanding; however, the younger populations have no idea what critical thinking is, nor do they understand simple math because of the hoops they have to jump through, and the lack of discussion the classroom is allotted. I remember when there were open discussions, and actual questions that made sense. I do not remember the beginning of the education that involves making “eight and five equal ten by subtracting three from eight and adding it to five”.


All in all, “If the goal was not population control, if it as truly o get those third, fourth and fifth layer of thought and to challenge the being, then everyone receiving would be individually expanding and recalling information and using it to craft connections and individual pathways”.


(Disclaimer: most of the quotes are from teachers who wish to keep their identities anonymous and I wish to respect that.)