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What the No Child Left Behind Policy Means to Our Students

 

Recently on the Missouri Parent Blog, we wrote about No Child Left Behind (NCLB), explaining what this important federal education policy is. In that post, we explained that schools that wish to receive federal funding must follow NCLB standards for performance and accountability. Today we’ll explain what each of those performance and accountability measures means to our students.

It’s our goal to keep you informed about legislative and funding issues that affect children in Missouri’s public schools. We hope that this two-part post on No Child Left Behind helps you to better-understand in this important federal educational initiative and the impact it has on Missouri’s K-12 public school students.

Read Part 1: What the No Child Left Behind Policy Is

Standardized Testing
NCLB identifies reading, language arts, mathematics, and science as “core academic subjects”. States seeking federal education funding must develop and implement state assessments in each of those subject areas. There is not a federal achievement standard – instead, each state determines what constitutes achievement in each subject area and grade level.

What NCLB Means for Our Students: Students are required to take annual state standardized tests in reading, language arts, mathematics, and science in grades 3-8.

Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)
Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) is one of the ways NCLB measures district accountability. AYP is designed to “ensure that every child learns, every school has the opportunity to improve, and every dollar is spent wisely.” (Source)

What AYP Means for Our Students: Federal AYP accountability standards reinforce Missouri’s need to give annual standardized tests. Without those tests, Missouri would lose federal NCLB funding. That’s not all though: Schools are identified as successful or failing based on their AYPs. Inadequate AYPs qualify students for school transfers, and persistently low AYPs can result in school closures.

Report Cards
NCLB requires states and districts to be transparent about school performance and teacher quality by providing a “report card” to the public.

What Report Cards Mean for Our Students: NCLB Report Cards give you and your child an idea of your child’s academic progress compared to other students in the school district and the state. NCLB Report Cards also provide information about overall academic achievement in the district and about school safety.

Find your child’s NCLB District Report Card here.
Find your child’s School Report Card here.
Read Missouri’s State Report Card here.

Teacher Qualifications
NCLB requires public schools to provide highly qualified teachers to students, specifically in their core academic subject areas (reading, language arts, mathematics, and science). Each state sets its own standards for what it means to be a “highly qualified” teacher.

What NCLB’s Teacher Qualifications requirements mean to our students: As the parent of a public school student, your child’s school is required by NCLB to notify you if his or her core academic subject area teachers are not considered “highly qualified” by state standards.

Funding Changes
Between 2001 and 20014, total federal education funding increased from $42.2 billion to $55.7 billion. In 2014, the federal government allotted approximately $141 billion to education. (Source, Source)

What NCLB Federal Funding Changes Mean to Our Students: School districts with high concentrations of low-income families benefit more from NCLB than students in higher-income districts. Some of the increase in federal funding was directed toward school technology. Also, students in Title I programs benefit from increased NCLB funding. Finally, Missouri’s special education students have seen an increase in federal funding since the adoption of NCLB through the Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) have seen an increase in federal funding since the adoption of NCLB.

This post was the second post in a two-part post on No Child Left Behind. Continue to learn more about funding and legislative issues affecting Missouri students by bookmarking Missouri Parent Blog. You can also connect with us on Facebook or Twitter for regular Missouri education updates.


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