The No Child Left Behind Act has been an important part of our education as future teachers, as well as current teachers across the country for years. The Seven Deadly Sins of No Child Left Behind questions whether or not it’s really working in America and offers suggestions for educational reform. Each sin offers the reader several points against the act that cannot be ignored.

Paul D. Houston writes: It is time to change direction. It is now universally accepted, even by those who wrote the bill, that NCLB is flawed and needs to be fixed. Houston takes an in-depth look at factors such as the socioeconomic status of students, English learners, and the change in skill sets required to survive in today’s changing economy.

The first sin has been described as referring to the assumption that the schools are broken (Houston). Educational reform is driven by a belief system that must be changed. In fact, the system itself is quite successful, it is not broken as critics have described it. The problem itself is not in the system, but in the fact that the world has changed and education must change with it. According to Houston, schools across the country are doing better than most people assume, although standardized test reports may reflect a different claim that leads us to the second sin.

The second sin is described as problems with testing and education. We as teachers know best that standardized tests do not always reflect the true intelligence of our students. Although standardized tests may be the easiest way to measure our intelligence compared to students in other countries, it should not be the only measure used.

Sin number 3 suggests that No Child Left Behind, in fact, leaves those children behind in poverty. Those who see poverty as an intervening variable have been accused of having lowered expectations for disadvantaged children. With a significant amount of government funding going to districts with successful academic scores (many of which have the money to provide their students with books and state-of-the-art technology), the poorest schools have even less capacity to provide their children with the skills. tools necessary for a better education. .

The first 3 sins alone in the Houston article raise a lot of questions about whether or not NCLB is really working. Sin 4 suggests that fear and coercion push educators to teach the test, and Sin 5 suggests that the law itself is unclear in many respects. Sin 6 suggests that government officials might not know what is best for students and that educators themselves are the best judges in this regard, and Sin 7 implies that the law undermines our international competitiveness (Houston).

Houston ends the article by giving his own suggestions on ways we can reform our educational system in America. Ways to adapt it to the current needs of today’s economy. Although Houston clearly displays a biased opinion on NCLB, it offers a real insight into a growing problem that needs to be addressed.

Source: Houston, PD The Seven Deadly Sins of No Child Left Behind. Phi Delta Kappa International Online, accessed November 28, 2010 at pdkmembers (dot) org / members_online / publications / Archive / pdf / k0706hou.pdf

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