Implementation Barriers to NCLB

Implementation Barriers to NCLB

A Chapter by Debbie Barry
"

An essay about the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and barriers to its implementation in schools. Written for EDU 108: Introduction to Policy & Education.

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Implementation Barriers to NCLB


December 9, 2009


 

The major challenge for implementation of NCLB at the federal and state level is "how federal funds are distributed and used" (U.S. Department of Education, Title I School Choice and Supplemental Education Services: Final Report, n.d., para. 1).  As Fowler (2009) notes in the text, "[a]nother common mistake is adopting a policy that does not match the resource level of a school or district" (p. 287).  A large number of schools that have difficulty meeting the adequate yearly progress (AYP) requirements are in economically disadvantaged districts in urban areas, but "federal funds were more targeted to high-poverty districts than state and local funds but did not close the funding gap between high- and low-poverty districts" (U.S. Department of Education, Accountability Under NCLB: Interim Report, n.d., para. 3).  The schools in the high-poverty districts remain disadvantaged despite receiving federal funds, so their students are less able to achieve AYP.

Additional challenges are often related to the economic status of a school district.  As Kerstin Carlson LeFloch et al. (2007) reported in an article for the U.S. Department of Education, "[h]igh-poverty, high-minority, and urban schools were less likely to make AYP, and many of the schools that were identified for improvement reported needing technical assistance, especially to serve students with special needs, such as those with disabilities or limited English proficiency" (cited in U.S. Department of Education, Accountability Under NCLB: Interim Report, n.d., para. 1).   As noted in the news article by J. Anderson (2005), "[i]f one group of students -- white, black, Hispanic, special education, Limited English Proficiency or low-income -- fails to meet all its goals, the school or district is put on a 'school improvement list'" (cited in Fowler, 2009, p. 307).  Without adequate resources, many students in these categories cannot reach AYP.

Another barrier to the implementation of NCLB is the appropriateness of the policy itself.  Fowler (2009) states that policy makers should consider whether "this policy [is] appropriate for our school or district" (p. 286).  While it is generally accepted that it is appropriate for every school and district to have high expectations for its students, and for every child to receive support and encouragement to reach his or her fullest potential, it is not appropriate for any school or district to expect every student to achieve the same level of academic performance across all socio-economic groups.  Implementing NCLB as it currently exists ignores individuality, uniqueness, talents, and needs in America's students.  It punishes schools and districts that work with disadvantaged students, and ultimately punishes the students when schools are closed due to a perennial inability to meet AYP, forcing students to be moved to other schools, which are often already overcrowded and overtaxed by their existing student populations.  As Superintendent Williams stated in the article in our text, "[t]o assume that we can assure that every child will be proficient in a system that serves children of a broad spectrum of ability would be similar to saying that we can make every child a proficient athlete, artist,, musician or actor" (Fowler, 2009, p. 307).

 


References:


Fowler, F.C. (2009). Policy Studies for Educational Leaders: An Introduction (3rd ed). Boston:    Allyn & Bacon.


U.S. Department of Education, Office of Planning, Evaluation and Development, Policy and           Program Studies Service.  (n.d.).  State and Local Implementation of the No Child Left        Behind Act: Volume III " Accountability Under NCLB: Interim Report.           Retrieved December 8, 2009, from http://www.rand.org/pubs/reprints/RP1303/


U.S. Department of Education, Office of Planning, Evaluation and Development, Policy and           Program Studies Service.  (n.d.).  State and Local Implementation of the No Child Left        Behind Act: Volume VII " Title I School Choice and Supplemental Education Services:         Final Report.  Retrieved December 8, 2009, from                 http://www.rand.org/pubs/reprints/RP1383/




© 2017 Debbie Barry



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Debbie Barry
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Debbie Barry
Debbie Barry

Clarkston, MI



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I live with my husband in southeastern Michigan with our two cats, Mister and Goblin. We enjoy exploring history through French and Indian War re-enactment and through medieval re-enactment in the So.. more..

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