The No Child Left Behind law has changed education. It has required teachers to meet tougher qualifications and for schools to meet tougher achievement goals. While the law has its various critics, it does have support also. As with many laws, the No Child Left Behind law has its pros and cons. However, I feel that any law that is designed to help education and allows for children to benefit cannot be all bad.
One positive sign that the No Child Left Behind law is working is coming from schools that have been tracked for their free tutoring program. Under the No Child Left Behind law, children at schools that did not make their academic goal for three consecutive years are entitled to free tutoring.
The tracked schools included: Chicago, Baltimore, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Palm Beach, Philadelphia, San Diego, and Washington. These large urban school districts were chosen due to their size.
It was found that students who received tutoring in five of these districts made improvements in both math and reading. The students in two of the districts had no change in scores. The other two tracked districts did not have a significant enough number of students receiving tutoring to allow for valid results.
Many have criticized this provision of the law because it does not require that the tutors meet the same qualifications that teachers must meet. Others complain that paying for tutoring for poor students takes almost 20 percent of the federal funds. The cost for the tutoring is estimated to be as high as $2000.00 for each child.
The supporters of the law and the tutoring provision that it offers is hoping that the success made at the five schools will be enough to keep it active. The No Child Left Behind law will be up before the Congress for renewal this year.
NEA President Requests No Child Left Behind Reform