An Article About The No Child Left Behind Bill Essay

The Clinton administration, concerned that cracking down would rile the Republican Congress, focused on providing states with assistance in the development process.

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The Elementary and Secondary Education Act’s 50-plus separate, categorical grants would be reduced to five broad “performance-based grants” funding the Title I compensatory-education program, teacher quality, English proficiency, public school choice, and innovation.

As the next reauthorization cycle rolled around, conservatives were supportive of the idea of state flexibility combined with performance goals, but they favored an even broader block grant approach that would give states enormous discretion over how they spent federal education funding.

Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., shared the president’s enthusiasm.

“This is a defining issue about the future of our nation and about the future of democracy, the future of liberty, and the future of the United States in leading the free world,” the legislative icon had proclaimed on the Senate floor.

The movement gained momentum with the 1989 education summit in Charlottesville, Virginia, at which President George H. Bush and the nation’s governors set broad performance goals for American schools.

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By 1991, President Bush’s “America 2000” proposal included voluntary national testing tied to “world class” standards, a provision that led to the bill’s death by Republican filibuster.

“No piece of legislation will have a greater impact or influence on that.” While No Child Left Behind does mark an unprecedented extension of federal authority over states and local schools, the law’s accountability measures were not, for the most part, newly developed in 2001.

No Child Left Behind was the cumulative result of a standards-and-testing movement that began with the release of the report by the Reagan administration in 1983.

It also held kernels of the language that would find its way into No Child Left Behind two years later.

It still allowed states to define what adequate yearly progress meant, but the state plans had to ensure that each racial, ethnic, and economic subgroup of students would be proficient within ten years.


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