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No child left behind

One of the most hotly contested topics in the world of education today is “No Child Left Behind.”  This rather radical concept is that nobody can seem to agree upon.  In fact, years ago this would have been unthinkable.

The No Child Left Behind act was instituted in 2001.  One of the biggest problems with it is that most people do not really understand what it means.  Parents think that it means that their child cannot be held back in school for poor grades, which is not true.  Instead, the reason why No Child Left Behind was instituted was so that poorer school districts could give their children the same level and quality of education as children who were in the richer school districts.  In order to achieve this the poorer school districts are allocated a certain amount of additional money, which increases yearly.

Of course, there is a catch and this is where the arguments come from.  The catch is that in order for these schools to qualify for this funding, the schools must have a certain percentage of students pass the standardized tests that are given each year.  While these tests are currently only being given to high school children, in the future these tests will be given to every child in every grade.  In order for this to happen, every child will be taught the same material and thus receive the same education.  Now if a child is unable to pass this standardized test in his last year of high school, then the child will either have to go to summer school and pass it or repeat his last year of high school

People who are in favor of this act say that it will make sure that every child who graduates from high school is prepared for the outside world.  Since the money that schools receive is dependent upon these test scores, the schools are forced to focus upon what they consider the core contents, which is what is used to ensure that every child is properly educated.  On the other hand, those who are against this act argue that the money should not be dependent upon how well the students do.  They claim that those children who are in the poorer school districts do poorly because they are poor.  Therefore they say that the money should be given to these children regardless of their test scores.

The money that these schools receive is divided up among many areas including: Comprehensive School Reform, Advanced Placement, School Improvement and School Dropout Prevention.  A lot of teachers believe that this money is actually being wasted and that it should go to teachers salaries and text books, which is where teachers believe that the money is really needed.

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