The DEATH and LIFE of the


Group 3
Nicole Arias
Michelle Bertucci
Marlen Buergo
Tamika Joseph

  • George W. Bush signed the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act in January 2002
  • At its heart were accountability and choice.
  • States were to create standards and choose their own test as well as determine what the level of proficiency was individually.
  • If schools did not perform as projected or determined within the state standards, which coincided with NCLB, then there would be several consequences.
  • The nature of schools drastically changed; making standardized testing the primary measure of school quality.
  • Scores in Reading and Math became critical variable in judging students, teachers, principals, and schools.

Pros vs. Cons


- Assesses students’ mastery of the basic skills annually in Reading and Math

- Improved test scores

- Decrease in the achievement gap

- Increase in high quality teachers

- Additional testing helps identify low-performing students

- Increases the number of schools attaining AYP


- Demands higher test scores in basic skills

- Ignores other important subjects; such as social studies, science, the arts, etc.

-Program funding is lacking each year

- Multiple choice testing is the only measure of student performance

- Teachers are forced to teach to the test

- Teachers are penalized for working in high risk schools

- All students regardless of their native language or ability level are held to the same standard

A Rapid End to a Promising Beginning...

  • In the 1991 and 1992, the U.S Department of Education awarded grants to professional groups of teachers and scholars to develop voluntary national standards in history, English Language Arts, Science, Civics, Economics, the arts, foreign languages, Geography, and physical education
  • Controversy struck as the proposed national standards were scrutinized for its political biases.
  • The Clinton Administration then passed a law stating that every state should write its own standards, pick its own tests, and be accountable for achievement. The task of identifying what students should learn-the heart of curriculum standards- was left to each state.
  • The Clinton Administration’s Goals 2000 program gave states federal money to write their own academic standards, but most of the state standards were vague when it came to any curriculum content.
  • The standards movement died in 1995, when the controversy over the national history standards came to high boil.


  • The 1982 publication of A Nation at Risk played a role in the rise and fall of the standards movement, and its contrast with NCLB
  • ANAR encouraged states and the nation to craft genuine curriculum standards in many subjects
  • Prepared by the National Commission on Excellence in Education
  • Addressed problems that were intrinsic to schooling, such as curriculum, graduation requirements, teacher preparation, and quality of textbooks
  • The report was a plea to make our schools function better in their core mission as academic institutions and to make our educational system live up to our nation’s ideals

ANAR Recommendations:

  • Stronger high school graduation requirements
  • The Five New Basics                                                                                                                    - 4 years of English                                                                                                                     - 3 years of Mathematics                                                                                                           - 3 years of Science                                                                                                                     - 3 years of social studies                                                                                                         - ½ year of computer science
  • Higher standards for academic performance and student conduct
  • More time devoted to instruction and homework
  • Higher standards for entry into teaching profession
  • Better salaries for teachers                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

A Nation at Risk
No Child Left Behind

What side of the movement do you find yourself in? Why?

Comment Stream

2 years ago

Group 3, nice job. I feel that either side is extreme. I am in the classroom and I see that we need all strategies, ideas, input, opinions, theories, etc. before we can put a real classroom atmosphere that nurtures all students who attend our classes. It does not matter how much one teacher knows if the rest of the puzzle is not in the right place. Reforms and school policies need to start with the reality of what is going on in the classroom with students issues, not only with learning but with their lives. Next, teachers education, training and willingness to accept that there is always room for improvement. After those things are in place, schools can talk to local governances and express and demand what is needed in that particular school. Every school is unique due to students diversity. There is no an universal fix, particular needs have to be taken into account when looking at issues, if problems are to be solved.