In conclusion, it is apt to say that the NCLB Act is by no means successful. There are discrepancies between the official rhetoric relating to this Act and ground realities as witnessed by disadvantaged students and their parents. Those schools that provide much needed education for African Americans, Hispanics and other minority students tend to be the ones penalized for not meeting AYP standards. This statute has the adverse effect of compelling many poor children to drop out of school without adequate skills to compete in the global workplace. For example,
“many of these children are likely to leave school before earning a high school diploma. Even if they graduate, many leave school without the skills needed to earn a decent living. Equal access to a good education has become especially crucial over the past twenty-five years, as a rapidly changing economy has made skills and education ever more important determinants of labor market outcomes.” (Murnane, 2007)
Such being the reality of American public school system (both urban and rural), it is imperative that the Congress and the President step up the effectiveness of NCLB. As we gather from several scholarly sources, the conditions of our urban public schools and the disparities between them have only become steep in the nine years since NCLB came into effect. While urban school districts in some states, including Ohio, have done well the last few years, most others have poor results to show. Teachers have their own complaints about the prevailing system and are demanding change. African American students in particular are set to suffer, if nothing is done about the rules governing urban school staffing, teacher qualifications, funding mechanisms and performance criteria for schools.
Jacob, B. A. (2007). The Challenges of Staffing Urban Schools with Effective Teachers. The Future of Children, 17(1), 129+.
McElroy, E. J. (2005, May/June). Nclb’s Unintended Consequences. American Teacher, 89, 2.
Murnane, R. J. (2007). Improving the Education of Children Living in Poverty. The Future of Children, 17(2), 161+.
Safier, K. L. (2007). Improving Teacher Quality in Ohio: the Limitations of the Highly Qualified Teacher Provision of the No Child Left behind Act of 2001. Journal of Law and Education, 36(1), 65+.
Sanders, A. (2008). Left Behind: Low-income Students under the No Child Left behind Act . Journal of Law and Education, 37(4), 589+.
Seaton, G., Dell’Angelo, T., Spencer, M. B., & Youngblood, J. (2007). Moving beyond the Dichotomy: Meeting the Needs of Urban Students through Contextually-Relevant Education Practices. Teacher Education Quarterly, 34(2), 163.
Stringfield, S. (2007). Improvements in Academic Achievement among African American Students over Time: National Data and an Urban Case Study. The Journal of Negro Education, 76(3), 306+.