Sophomore Year Archive: Annotated Links for Gateway

U.S. Department of Education

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, which is important because it lays out how our current educational policies are affecting and/or improving each state, which in turn allows us to see our educational progress as a nation. This website is also beneficial because it breaks down our current educational policies 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. One thing that makes this government source so useful is that it is constantly being updated with the newest facts, latest changes, and relevant revisions. Because of the steady attention it receives, its reliability is supreme and its accuracy is dead on. Another helpful aspect of this source is that it lays out the president’s budget request for the education department, as well as what this budget means for each individual state. All that was mentioned above is vital to understanding every aspect of this crucial debate. ( last accessed November 28th, 2009)

ERIC Digest

This digest is an institutional resource titled “No Child Left Behind: Testing, Reporting, and Accountability,” and was published in August of 2003 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. It reviews how testing requirements will work according to a wide range of groups of students, while looking at reasons that may delay the assurance of educational accountability for all students. All the information in this digest is extremely important because it hits on the crucial racial aspect of the NCLB that is often neglected. There is a huge question at issue of whether or not to include for example, students with disabilities or LEP students under its testing provisions, and this digest addresses some of these problems. No outside sources were mentioned within the text, but the publication was backed by the Institute for Urban and Minority Education.  (last accessed December 1st, 2009)

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. All of these people play or have played an important role in determining which direction our education system in the United States will head. I feel as though an underlying message of this source is that education was “more successful” when policies were in the hands of the state rather than the government. According to this article, the National Assessment of Educational Progress showed that achievement grew faster when states were in charge of education policy, which was before the NCLB act was implemented. Subscribers of the printed New York Times along with online viewers and general circulation seem to be the audience for this source. This article is useful because it is telling the current story and situation of NCLB from a neutral standpoint. People may argue that a good journalistic piece needs to voice a certain opinion, however I believe it takes talent and that there is a large benefit of getting the straight up facts, while being able to successfully tell an interesting story. (last accessed November 28th, 2009)

The Recovery Act

This is an institutional source that discusses the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that Congress passed and president Obama signed into law 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. is another great government funded website that contains everything there is to know about the Recovery and Reinvestment Act. It can tell the reader specifically where the money is going, as well as what the timeline is and what milestones we have reached. One thing that makes this source so helpful is their FAQ’s section that has links that can direct the viewer somewhere where their specific question can be answered. It also lays out what new opportunities are being created, and provides links to help people take advantage of these opportunities. (last accessed November 30th, 2009)

Pros and Cons

This is a journalistic source written by Deborah White and it is published in the “US Liberal Politics” section of Its audience is mainly internet circulation of people who have questions about our education system or who are not sure whether they support or oppose the NCLB. It starts off by talking about certain aspects of No Child Left Behind that appeal or do not appeal to either the Republican or the Democratic parties. This helps the author set the mood for the rest of the article, whose main focus is to dish out all the important pros and cons of this issue in the most clear cut 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 controversial act. It is useful because the two sides of the debate are laid out and are clearly accessible. When you are able to view both sides of an argument simply summarized at the same time, it really enhances your understanding of the issue because you are receiving an equal amount of information from multiple standpoints. The article is effective because it not only gives pros and cons, but it references important political figures from both sides, which gives each side’s argument character and relatability. (last accessed November 28th, 2009)

ABC News

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. The audience for this source are ABC viewers because they are most likely the ones who will go to ABC online as well. According to this article, Bush 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. Because there was so much opposition to the Bush administration, there seems to be more circulation that looks past the good things the NCLB act has accomplished, so I feel that this article is necessary and that it is a good depiction of Bush believing in and standing behind what he started, and trying to make sure that its good implementations are carried on through to the Obama administration. 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 and relevancy. (last accessed November 28th, 2009)

No Politician Left Behind

This is clearly a journalistic source, seeing as it is an editorial page from the Wall Street Journal. It is titled “No Politician Left Behind: Lack of money isn’t the problem with education” and was published on February 15th 2004. The writer is trying to get the point across to critics that lack of money is not the problem with the NCLB act. John Edwards and John Kerry are both shortly referenced, but in an interesting way noting that they both voted for this law, as did the majority of congress. 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. However, many democrats are continuing to refer to the law as an “unfunded mandate,” which is proven through statistics to be an inaccurate term for this particular situation. Another important misconception that this article attempts to make people aware of is that a state makes their own tests to align with their own state standards, and they need to meet AYP or they will not be funded. 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 issue are the audience for this publication. (last accessed November 30th, 2009)

What Does Arne Duncan Think?

This is a journalistic source titled “What Arne Duncan Thinks of No Child Left Behind: The new education secretary talks about the controversial law and financial aid forms” by Eddy Ramirez and Kim Clark that was published on February 5th, 2009. U.S. News, which is the website this article is posted to, has a large audience consisting of multiple groups of people because it is well-known, televised and accessible online. Duncan discusses what he believes is problematic with the controversial NCLB 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. Arne Duncan strongly believes that we are lying to parents and children by telling them that they are meeting standards, when in reality, they are being poorly prepared for high school and higher education. This article is important because we find out what the future of this important issue could potentially be and how it can help or harm our nation. Duncan makes a great point that although we are in an economic crisis, we are also in an educational crisis, therefore we need to educate ourselves to a better economy. (last accessed November 29th, 2009)

Interview with John Bass from Lake Oswego, OR

This source is a very important piece to the debate about the No Child Left Behind Act, and is considered to be a citizen source. The ideal audience for an interview like this is parents, policymakers, and educational researchers, because these three groups of people seem to be the most concerned about how the NCLB has played out in schools across the nation. John Bass, who is a fifth and sixth grade schoolteacher in Lake Oswego, Oregon gives his opinions and ideas about this controversial act. Not only does he voice what he believes, but he also discusses the specific implications the NCLB act has had in his classroom and within his elementary school. Lake Oswego, Oregon is a small suburb that has a lot of parents who are willing to pay extra to help support public education. This source is interesting because Mr. Bass brings up the idea of other low-income schools in different areas with different circumstances, and discusses how these circumstances can and have affected those teachers differently than teachers in a wealthier suburb, for example. They may be working just as hard, but things like family involvement as well as socioeconomic factors can get in the way. I believe this interview is so important because it shows a teacher’s perspective on the issue, rather than the government’s or a politician’s.


This source is an academic research source that I find interesting because of how rarely other documents of its kind have come up in my research over this term. The targeted audience for this source is educational researchers as well as those who are interested in finding everything that factors in to a successful educational reform. The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) has over twenty thousand members nationwide, and is a group of educators who dedicate themselves to helping students transition into post secondary education. Their main goal is to solve the college access crisis, which has also been stated as one of the Obama administration’s greatest concerns. According to the NACAC’s research, access to quality school counseling has a large impact on academic achievement and planning for college. This is important because funding for quality counselors is rarely emphasized in the educational debate, but it seems rational that schools with counselors dedicated to receiving a higher education after high school will have more students who graduate and go on to be successful in life. The NACAC emphasizes that the low-income, underserved, and neediest schools are the ones who should be receiving the most attention, but they currently lack access to a rigorous college preparatory curriculum. (last accessed November 28th, 2009)


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