during the K– 12 years, in contrast to
reading and math, which are tested
annually in grades 3 through 8.
Furthermore, science tests don’t even
count toward calculating a school’s
level of adequate yearly progress
(AYP), NCLB’s measure of
The inadequacies of NCLB,
long experienced by educators in
the trenches, were never adequately
addressed by policy makers, who
preferred to highlight NCLB’s goal
of exposing serious issues of unequal
education through testing and disag-gregation of scores by race, ethnicity,
and disability. Using the pending reauthorization of the Elementary
and Secondary Education Act
(ESEA), the Obama administration
hopes to loosen the inflexible and narrowing aspects of NCLB’s approach
to academics, according to the U.S.
Department of Education (2010).
However, the education department’s plans to revamp NCLB prioritizes funding for states that adopt the
Common Core State Standards, which
zero in on literacy and math as keys to
college and career readiness. Despite
the department’s show of support for
a “well-rounded education,” educators
and advocates for a comprehensive
education fear that some subjects previously marginalized under NCLB,
could be sidelined again because of
A Chance to Refocus No
Child Left Behind
In “A Complete Education,” a component of the administration’s ESEA
Reauthorization: A Blueprint for
Reform, literacy continues as a major
pillar. Likewise, science, technology,
engineering, and math (the STEM
subjects) will be given priority in
funding. Finally, under the rubric of
a “well-rounded education,” federal
grant money will go toward strengthening the teaching and learning in the
arts, foreign languages, history and
civics, financial literacy, environmental
education, and other subjects.
The Obama administration has
spearheaded a major effort to bolster
The 2011 ASCD Legislative Agenda
In its 2011 Legislative Agenda, ASCD, representing
more than 160,000 educators, calls on federal policymakers
to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) in 2011 to support the efforts to provide
a world-class education to every student. In that sense,
“world-class” refers to an education that will help U.S.
students compete in the global marketplace.
To help redress the flaws of the No Child Left Behind
Act (NCLB), ASCD calls on the U.S. Congress to not only
ensure that students are proficient in reading and math, but
also seek ways to close the “international achievement gap”
between the United States and its peers in other countries.
To help close that gap and ensure that all students have a
comprehensive education to prepare for college and careers
in the 21st century, ASCD asks that Congress
•;Recognize that ensuring that all children are healthy,
safe, engaged, supported, and challenged should be a
national priority, and encourage parents, educators, and
community members to support and provide a whole
child approach to education for each student.