Sophomore Year Archive: Education in America and No Child Left Behind

Should the No Child Left Behind Act that was signed into law in 2002 be revoked? This act requires that all states give assessments in basic skills to all students if they want to receive federal funding for their public schools. The issue surrounding the NCLB is the debate about whether or not the standardized tests are an effective way of determining whether a particular student or school is academically adequate. Although statistics have shown increased achievement in schools, many believe it is inhibiting critical, intellectual thinking and should be removed or completely revised.

This is a very thorough, government source that is one of the most helpful in terms of getting verifiable, straight-forward information about the No Child Left Behind Act. It contains information about NCLB individual state statuses, our educational progress as a nation, and it breaks down the policy into every aspect on both the elementary and secondary education levels. Those who are involved in government issues and want the core facts and statistics will be the primary audience and target of this source. It is useful because it is unbiased, informative, and gives direct facts.

No Child Left Behind Act in the New York Times

This article is from the New York Times and is a journalistic source. The outside sources mentioned are Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, President Bush, Bush’s education secretary, Margaret Spellings, and Obama’s education secretary, Arne Duncan. The National Assessment of Educational Progress showed that achievement grew faster when states were in charge of education policy, before the NCLB was implemented. Subscribers of the printed New York Times along with online viewers are the targeted audience. This article is useful because it is telling the current story and situation of NCLB from a neutral standpoint.

Moving to Portland

This is a citizen source that contains an abundance of valid and interesting information regarding the NCLB act and its implementation in Oregon. The author does not really discuss outside sources, but she references the United States Department of Education as well as The Oregonian. The author talks about how Oregon report cards differ from the outcome of NCLB, and how a school can be downgraded for one particular group failing to make progress. Most Oregon residents who are interested in the facts and specifics about Oregon schools and requirements. This is important and useful because we are able to see the application of the law and how it is implemented in our state.


This is an institutional source that discusses the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that Congress passes in 2009. This act includes increasing federal funds for education, which will help the government create new jobs, save existing ones, spur economic activity, and invest in long-term economic growth, which are a few of their main goals. Since this is a government source, it simply mentions Congress as well as President Obama, in terms of outside sources. The targeted audience for this source is individuals who are involved in government issues and interested in what the new Obama administration is doing to better our nation.

Pros and Cons of the NCLB

This is a journalistic source written by Deborah White. It starts off by talking about certain aspects of No Child Left Behind that appeal or do not appeal to the Republican and Democratic parties. This helps the author set the mood for the article, whose main focus is to dish out all the important pros and cons of this issue in the most simple way possible. Utah’s Governor Jon Huntsman, Senator Ted Kennedy as well as one of the main authors of NCLB, Margaret Spellings, are referenced, as they all have been important players in this act. It is useful because the two sides of the debate are laid out clearly accessible.

Bush Urges Continuation of NCLB

This source is a journalistic news source taken from ABC News. It is telling a story about how Bush traveled to Philadelphia to give his last policy speech of his presidency. He wanted to encourage policymakers to continue the No Child Left Behind act after he left office, and to reiterate all the positive things it has done for our education system. This source is useful because it strictly shows one side of the issue, and it also has a supplemental video posted in the middle of the article, which gives the audience a good visual representation of the story, therefore enhancing its meaning.

ERIC Digest

This is an institutional resource and this digest was published by the Education Resources Information Center, also known as “ERIC.” ERIC is a web source that has thousands of research based publications, ranging from opinion papers to journalistic reports. Therefore, anyone wanting to research or investigate any aspect of education will be drawn to this source. This publication is interesting because it discusses NCLB’s effect on different minority groups within public schools, and also talks about the repercussions of having different tests in different states. No outside sources were mentioned within the text, but the publication was backed by the Institute for Urban and Minority Education.

No Politician Left Behind

This is clearly a journalistic source, seeing as it is an editorial page from the Wall Street Journal. The writer is trying to get the point across to critics that lack of money is not the problem with the NCLB act. Statistics are listed, and a chart showing the relationship of money spent and reading test scores enhances the article’s effectiveness. In 2004, double the amount of money was spent than in 1990, yet scores were not improving, according to this chart. Subscribers and followers of the Wall Street Journal as well as those who have a strong opinion about this issue are the audience for this publication.

What does Arne Duncan Think?

This is a journalistic source in which Arne Duncan talks about NCLB and what his plans are to change the future of American education. U.S. News has a large audience because it is well-known, televised and accessible online. Duncan discusses what he believes is problematic with the controversial law, and lays out what he thinks is going to be the most effective in terms of making sure students are prepared for high school, can get into colleges that fit their needs, and can be successful in the workforce after college. This article is important because we find out what the future of this important issue could potentially be and how it will help our nation.

How To Fix NCLB

This is a journalistic source that is extremely helpful because of its use of a real life example of the NCLB act having a huge impact on a particular school. James G. Blaine elementary in Philadelphia is an all-black, inner-city school that spans pre-K to eighth grade. This publication from Time magazine poses and attempts to answer some very important questions dealing with the focuses of the testing, state requirements, and solutions to fixing problematic schools. The principal of Blaine as well as California’s superintendent of public instruction are referenced in order to provide specific instances where and how different aspects of this law apply, and help make this source more useful.


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