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Everything listed under: NCLB

  • 5 Things to Know About No Child Left Behind


    No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is one of the most important pieces of education legislation in America, which is why Missouri Parent created a multi-part series of posts explaining what NCLB is, how it came to be, and what it means to Missouri students.

    If you don’t have time to read all of our posts about the policy, here are five things to know about No Child Left Behind:

    1) NCLB began in 1965 as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to help close the education gap between rich and poor Americans.

    2) Schools Must Follow NCLB to receive federal funding, even though NCLB isn’t technically mandated to the U.S. government. (Learn more)

    3) NCLB requires public schools to alert parents if a child’s core academic instructors are not considered “highly qualified” by their state’s teacher qualification standards.

    3) NCLB calls for state-level standardized testing, Adequate Year Progress reports, and annual report cards to be implemented across the country.

    5) The federal education budget has more than tripled since Congress passed NCLB in 2001.

    To learn more about No Child Left Behind, check out these Missouri Parent posts:

    What Our Nation’s No Child Left Behind Policy Is
    What the No Child Left Behind Policy Means to Our Students
    How Our Nation’s No Child Left Behind Policy Came to Be: A History

    Missouri Parent exists to help keep you, the parent of a Missouri public school student, in-the-know about legislative and funding decisions that affect your child’s K-12 education. To receive regular public school education updates, bookmark Missouri Parent News and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

  • If You Don't Know Senator Alexander You Need to Read This Post


    The national education stage has many prominent players. Among them is Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the Senate education committee chairman. Today we’re here to make sure that if you have a child in a public school in Missouri, you have a clear idea of what’s happening in Washington—and why the name Sen. Lamar Alexander is an important one to know in 2015.

    Sen. Alexander is the top Republican on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP). He served as U.S. Secretary of Education under President George W. Busch from March 1991 to January 1993, and he has served in the U.S. Senate since 2003. Sen. Alexander recently presented a proposal to overhaul and reauthorize No Child Left Behind (NCLB). (Source, Source)

    NCLB is a contentious federal education initiative passed in early 2002 by bipartisan majorities and signed into law by former President George W. Bush. NCLB is not a federally mandated program (states are not legally required to follow NCLB). Federal education funding is tied to a state’s adoption of NCLB, though, so states hoping to receive federal funds must opt-in to NCLB.

    Many believe that NCLB has created systematic federal over-reach. Sen. Alexander is one of them, and his NCLB proposal would shift some of the responsibility of educational policy, accountability, and funding back to individual states.

    As commentator Gary Wisenbaker told Valdosta Today — Sen. Alexander’s NCLB proposal “is grounded” in the concept that states should “handle their own problems in education and schooling.” (Source)

    This EdWeek blog post goes into more detail on Sen. Alexander’s proposed changes to NCLB, but here’s Missouri Parent’s bullet-point list of changes:

    • Standardized testing could change.
    • Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) measures, school choice, and other federal accountability standards will be replaced with accountability standards developed by each state.
    • The federal School Improvement Grant (SIG) model will go away, and so will many other programs.
    • States would have more flexibility in how they use Title I funds.
    • States would not have to develop teacher evaluation models based on student outcomes.
    • Federal funding for quality teachers could be used in new, more flexible ways.
    • Current “high qualified teacher” provisions would go away.
    • The existed Teacher Inventive Fund would be written into law.
    • States would no longer be required to generate minimum state funding in order to receive federal education money.
    • The U.S. Secretary of Education’s reach and authority over states would be limited.

    Learn More: Read EdWeeks’ full blog post on these changes here.

    These changes are big news for NCLB, which means that they’re big changes for public school students in Missouri. If you still aren’t sure why it’s important to know who Sen. Alexander is, though he said it well himself:

    “The work of no Senatecommitteeaffects the daily lives of more Americans more than this one—whether we are fixing No Child Left Behind, or reducing federal paperwork to make it easier for students to attend college, or making it simpler formedical treatments and cures to make their waythrough the Food and Drug Administrationtopatientswho need the help.” (Source)

    If Sen. Alexander succeeds, states and local school districts will regain control, and the federal government will be able to exercise fewer mandates over them. “Generally speaking,” said Sen. Alexander during a press conference call, “I want these discussions about testing standards, and accountability systems to move back to states and communities, where I think they belong.” (Source)

    Sen. Alexander and his NCLB proposal will continue to lead education news on the national stage over the coming weeks. Bookmark the Missouri Parent News page and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates on legislation and funding issues affecting Missouri schools.

  • How Our Nation’s No Child Left Behind Policy Came to Be: A History



    The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) is making national headlines again as federal lawmakers debate changes to NCLB proposed by the chairman of the Senate education committee, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.

    If you’re the parent of a public school student right now, you might not have had a school-aged child when NCLB was enacted as a federal law thirteen years ago. If that’s the case, we hope that this NCLB timeline will help you to feel better informed as Sen. Alexander and others in Washington debate NCLB:

    * January 23, 2001: Just days after taking office, President George W. Busch presented one of his first Congressional initiatives, NCLB.

    * January 8, 2002: Congress enacted NCLB as “an act to close the achievement gap with accountability, flexibility, and choice, so that no child is left behind.” The bill was passed by bipartisan majorities. (Source)

    * 2004: The National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest) initiated meetings between “more than 135 national civil rights, education, disability advocacy, civic, labor and religious groups” to create a proposal for fundamental changes to NCLB. (Source)

    * October 2004: FairTest released its NCLB proposal, calling for changes to federal education law. The goal? To replace NCLB’s emphasis on standardized test scores with rewards for “systematic changes that improve student improvement.” (Source)

    Read More about FairTest’s Proposal: The Joint Organizational Statement on No Child Left Behind.

    * February 2007: The Aspen Commission on NCLB, an independent, bipartisan effort to improve NCLB, released its final recommendations—a set of “specific and actionable policy recommendations,” some of which called for stricter federal enforcement of state educational standards and accountability. (Source)

    * 2007: A working group of the Joint Organizational Statement on NCLB—the Forum on Educational Accountability (FEA)—countered the Aspen Commission with its recommendation “to shift NCLB from applying sanctions for failing to raise test scores to supporting state and communities and hold them accountable as they make systematic changes that improve student learning.” (Source)

    * 2009: Race to the Top (RTTT)—a $4.35 billion reform initiative from the Department of Education was launched by the U.S. Department of Education to spur innovation in education. RTTT was funded by ED Recovery Act as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. RTTT rewarded states for meeting performance-based educator standards and following other educational policies. (Source)

    * March 2010: President Barack Obama “released a blueprint for reform of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act,” (ESEA) which preceded NCLB. The President urged a shift from the “punishment” mentality that concerned NCLB opponents to a system that focused on student improvement. The President also revised ESEA to include assessments for modern skills like technology use and effective communications. The President proposed a $2 billion increase in the federal budget to help schools meet the bill’s mandates. (Source)

    * 2012: The President waived or conditionally waived NCLB requirements to Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin. These states “have agreed to raise standards, improve accountability, and undertake essential reforms to improve teacher effectiveness.” (Source)*

    * 2012: A Gallup poll revealed general public dissatisfaction with NCLB. Only 16% thought that NCLB improved education, and “67% felt that it had made no difference or made things worse.” (Source)

    * January 2015: Senate education committee chairman, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) proposed major changes to NCLB that would shift the onus of educational policy-making back to individual states.

    NCLB will continue to lead education news on the national stage over the coming weeks. Come back often to the Missouri Parent Blog for NCLB updates. Bookmark the blog, and connect with Missouri Parent on Facebook and Twitter for daily updates on legislation and funding issues affecting Missouri schools.

    *In order to earn waivers, states were required to “produce their own plans for enhancing teacher competence and academic standards as well as implementing ways to track progress.”

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