No Child Left Behind Act From a Counselor's Perspective Thesis

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The No Child Left Behind Act was ratified in 2001 and affects federally funded American public schools. According to the Department of Education, the Act is built on four main principles: "accountability for results, more choices for parents, greater local control and flexibility, and an emphasis on doing what works based on scientific research." The principles upon which the Act is founded seem sound, but No Child Left Behind is a band-aid solution to a major crisis in the American public education system. Accountability for results, the first principle foundation of the Act, is measured with standardized achievement tests. The tests are imperfect means of assessing knowledge or critical thinking. Choices for parents implies the ability to switch schools, without taking into account (a) the reasons why some schools seem unacceptable to parents, and (b) the social problems caused by sending young students to schools outside of their primary area of residence.

Offering schools greater local control and flexibility does not appear to be a top priority of the No Child Left Behind Act. Rather, offering "greater local control and flexibility" seems like code for "less federal funding for public schools." Basing No Child Left Behind on scientific research would mean far greater scrutiny of the act and its implications. A large body of research shows that No Child Left Behind fails many children. As a guidance counselor I would argue strongly in favor of revising the Act or drafting a far more progressive one in its place.Get full Download Microsoft Word File access
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Thesis on No Child Left Behind Act From a Counselor's Perspective Assignment

One of the main assumptions of No Child Left Behind is that standardized tests accurately measure student achievement. Standardized tests demonstrate which students excel at a specific bandwidth of knowledge. The tests have their merits and need not be dismissed entirely. However, their limitations are clear. One of the most apparent limitations of standardized testing is their inability to measure achievement for students who are also learning English. "The achievement of language-minority students has often been overlooked or mismeasured as school districts lacked the skill or will to administer appropriate assessments," (Wenning, Herdman, Smith, McMahon & Washington 2003). Another limitation of standardized testing is that they focus rigidly on specific learning styles, neglecting the needs of students with stronger predilections for tactile, musical, or interpersonal intelligence. Multiple intelligence theories help validate those students who should be honored for their contributions to the class in forms other than those required to excel on the standardized achievement tests. I am aware of the preference for quantifiable assessment but as a counselor feel less and less inclined to believe that quantitative achievement is as meaningful as qualitative achievement. Students who score poorly on standardized achievement scores are sometimes labeled as being less intelligent than their peers when in fact those students possess significant strengths and skills.

Standardized tests also reveal the power of economic class to determine academic achievement. I have met the exceptions: those students who excel in spite of growing up in households that did not encourage early literacy. I have met exceptions such as students raised in highly literate environments but who did not develop strong verbal skills themselves. However, economic and social circumstances do play a role in student test scores. Peer pressure and the desire to do as well as but not better than peers in school may play a role in some students' underachievement on standardized tests as well as in class.

No Child Left Behind ostensibly uses the standardized tests as a means to assess not just students but whole schools. The idea behind the standardized test measurements is that schools neglecting to teach the basic principles of language and mathematics need to be punished, and that schools succeeding in helping their students achieve high scores deserve accolades. I would… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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APA Style

No Child Left Behind Act From a Counselor's Perspective.  (2009, February 10).  Retrieved December 4, 2020, from

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"No Child Left Behind Act From a Counselor's Perspective."  10 February 2009.  Web.  4 December 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"No Child Left Behind Act From a Counselor's Perspective."  February 10, 2009.  Accessed December 4, 2020.