On January 8, 2002, President Bush signed into law the most sweeping educational reform law since the Elementary and Secondary Education Act was first enacted in 1965. The new law titled "No Child Left Behind Act" is designed to improve student achievement and change the culture of America's schools. The NCLB Act was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support. No Child Left Behind focuses on four principles of education reform:
- Stronger accountability for results,
- Increased flexibility and local control,
- Expanded options for parents, and
- Emphasis on teaching methods that are proven to work.
What are the goals of the No Child Left Behind
There are five nationwide goals for ALL children.
- Proficiency in reading and math by the 2013-2014 school year.
- English proficiency for Limited English Proficient students.
- Qualified teachers in every classroom by 2005-2006.
- Safe and drug free learning environments.
- High school graduation for all students.
The No Child Left Behind Act recognizes the vital role parents play in their children's education. No Child Left Behind identifies specific roles for parents at school, at home, and in decision making for their children.
At school parents are encouraged to communicate with teachers, participate in policy-making and school improvement efforts, and volunteer at school as much as possible.
At home the role of parents is most critical. Research shows that what parents do at home is the biggest factor in how well their children do at school. Whether getting their children to school on time, talking with their children about school, providing opportunities to read or be read to, supporting completion of their homework, or encouraging learning at home and in the community, all parents have great impact on their children's success at school.
Parents whose children attend schools identified for improvement", may have an additional role in their children's education. These parents may have the opportunity to make decisions about the school their children attend, and, in some cases, may request supplemental education services for their children.
No Child Left Behind recognizes that schools and students will only reach high levels of academic achievement if parents and teachers work together to reach that goal.
What information can parents expect to receive?
Parents have traditionally received information specific to how their
children are doing in school through parent-teacher conferences, report
cards, daily school work, and results of standardized tests.
This information helps parents know in what areas their children are doing well, and in what areas they may need additional help. Teachers are available to answer any questions that parents have about their child's schoolwork. Parents do not need to wait for scheduled conferences to visit with their child's teacher.
No Child Left Behind requires that parents also receive information about the performance of their children's school, the school district, and the state as a whole. Report cards for the school, the district, and the state will provide information to parents and the public on student performance and achievement, graduation rates, teacher qualifications, and the number of students tested.
Report cards will also identify schools "identified for
Parents of students in these schools will receive additional information
about their school and options for students attending that school.