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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

They Say, "No Child Left Behind!" -- So Why Are Children Being Left Behind?

Urban kids

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2002 was supposed to ensure that low-income and minority students weren't being taught by unqualified teachers. It was supposed to ensure that all children, regardless of their status, deserved to be taught by good teachers. But 12 years later, data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that is not happening. Why not?

No Child Left Behind Act not being enforced

There still remains substantial inequity in the quality of education that low-income students often receive compared to the education that wealthier children get. The U.S. Department of Education uncovered data that shows teachers in wealthier school districts are more educated and qualified. They are more likely to have a master’s degree or higher compared to teachers in districts where most of the students are poor. These teachers are also less likely to be certified to teach the subjects that they teach.

What this means is that there is a clear difference in the qualify of education that each group of students receives. This is wrong! It is absolutely not the child's fault that they live and attend school in a low-income school district, so why should they have to pay by getting teachers who are not well qualified?

How is the White House going to fix this problem?

Many feel the problem is that the No Child Left Behind Act was never enforced. So the White House has come up with new guidelines called Excellent Educators for All, which supposedly requires all states to come up with detailed plans on what they intend to do in order to ensure that good and well-qualified teachers are spread more equally among wealthy and low-income schools.

Will the plan work?

It remains to be seen if the new guidelines will fix the problem. States have until June of 2015 to complete their plans. Apparently, more detailed instructions are being given as to what needs to be addressed and included in state plans. The big question is, who is going to monitor the states to make sure they comply with their own plans? Is it just another plan with another name? Time will tell.

For more information on the Excellent Educators for All initiative, visit www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/new-initiative-provide-all-students-access-great-educators
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