The importance of education has been seen in many of the current efforts to reform education and promote social development through it. The implementation of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001 serves as an opportunity to rethink perspectives in education and develop more effective strategies to ensure quality, performance and the role of education as an arm of social reform.
However, there should also be realization that there is a need to not only to develop strategies but also to develop assessment and evaluation to ensure that application of statutes fulfills the purpose of their design (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, 2007). The NCLB Act is an indication of the degree of concern the government and the public has for education. It also indicates the significance of economic motivations in extracting compliance.
According to Haney (2007), evaluations of school performance based on the provisions of the NCLB have also created focus of result-oriented strategies and the development of empirical quantitative data. He further points out that though this does not diminish the importance of qualitative assessments, the limitations of developing such measure on a federal level reinforces the role of test ratings as the primary basis of performance evaluation.
Though the provisions emphasize the need to raise quality of education, there is also merit to the concerns that the NCLB Act is exacerbating variances in institutional aptitude and access to federal resources (Congress To Weigh 'No Child Left Behind', 2007). It is also important to note that even the appellation of the act has notable implications. It implies that based on previous educational programs there are a significant number of students whoa re unable to attain the level of competency that will allow them to be fully socially productive despite the existence of education institutions and programs to do so.
This in turn implied that there has not been a full utilization of the resources provided for education on a federal and state level. Hauerwas and Walker (2004) also point out that the need for greater sensitivity to individual learning styles and methods has to be highlighted, particularly in the light of variances in first language and language acquisition proficiencies. Furthermore, the implication of non-compliance with non-performance can hinder schools who have yet to attain competencies to perform at par with standards from the injection of resources that would have otherwise allowed them to do so (Majhanovich, 2002).
More importantly, the NCLB illustrates the need for continuous development in education and dynamism in society that education has to respond to. What remains the same is the need for educational institutions to commit themselves enhancing the quality of education, teaching professionals as well as student performance regardless of the nature of the incentives that are made available (Bruce et al, 2002).
It should be always kept in mind that the objective of the NCLB is not for the federal government to be able establish an absolute educational programs or to establish a common range of objectives, measures of performance and incentives for each’ states education initiative but to be able to ensure that education for all Americans, regardless of state and individual characteristics is of the highest quality and allows for the realization students of all students’ potential.
Bruce, Carolyn, Salzman, James A, Snodgrass, Donna (2002). Leaving no child behind: Combining project READ and Guided Reading to improve at-risk students' literacy skills. Ohio Reading Teacher, Summer. Retrieved on May 13, 2008 from http://findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_qa4064/is_200207/ai_n9098523 Congress To Weigh 'No Child Left Behind' (2007). CBS2Chicago, January 13. Retrieved on May 13, 2008, from http://cbs2chicago. com/national/No. Child. Left. 2. 278792. html Haney, W. (2007) Evidence on Education under NCLB and How Florida Boosted NAEP Scores and Reduced the Race Gap.
Boston, M. A. : Center for the Study of Testing, Evaluation and Education Policy. Lynch School of Education. Hauerwas, Laura Boynton and Walker, Joanne (2004). What can children’s spelling of running and jumped tell us about their need for spelling instruction?. The Reading Teacher, October Vol. 58, No. 2. pp. 168–176 Majhanovich, Suzanne (2002). Conflicting visions, competing expectations: Control and de-skilling of education–a perspective from Ontario. McGill Journal of Education, April.
Retrieved May 13, 2008, from http://findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_qa3965/is_200204/ai_n9030852 U. S. Department of Education (2004). Charting the Course: States Decide Major Provisions Under No Child Left Behind. U. S. Department of Education. Washigton: USDE United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (2007). Education for Social Reforms. Retrieved on May 13, 2008 from http://portal. unesco. org/education/en/ev. php-URL_ID=11833&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201. html