It’s time to leave behind No Child Left Behind

The No Child Left Behind Act is a detriment to this country’s school system and a barrier to the creativity and skills of our teachers. This act has put the emphasis of school on standardized testing and takes away from the importance of student-teacher relationships. The main goal of this act is to have every child test on their grade level in reading and math by 2014, and to accomplish this goal the students are bombarded with standardized tests year after year in hopes of making them better test takers. Having all students testing at their grade level sounds great on paper, but this will never happen. All children develop at different rates, and there is always going to be a broad spectrum when it comes to math and reading levels of those in a given grade.

This act also promotes complacency in the students who do well on their tests. The teachers are spending a majority of their time helping those who do poorly on the tests, while the kids who do well get a pat on the back and are told to keep up the good work. One final issue caused by the act is that it discourages students from engaging in conversation on a given topic and asking questions. The most common question you will hear in the classroom now is, “Will this be on the test?” If the material is not going to be tested, the student is disinterested, and the teacher sees it as a waste of time to explain or discuss it. This act needs to be seriously reformed or even scrapped and a new plan needs to be put in place that shifts the emphasis from standardized test scores to learning, engaging and asking questions at school.

Brian Ostergren,

senior in LAS