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Education in ‘Act’ion

Staff Writer

Besides the Common Core State Standards Initiative, which is known by school for how much of a change it has brought to our educational system, there are many more acts that have impacted our schools greatly. Some of these laws are considered to be helpful toward the good of the students, while many others are not and will be soon replaced.

One of the more well-known acts is the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001, signed into law by President Bush on Jan. 8, 2002. The purpose of NCLB is to increase the academic achievement of all students through methods such as funding teacher training and having additional testings. For example, this act calls for mandatory annual exams in reading and mathematics for students in grades three to eight; in California, this test is known as the California Standards Test (CST). Unfortunately, the act was considered a “failure” according to an analysis from the American Educational Research Association; it drastically narrows our curriculum and causes an increase in dropout rate in schools. In response, the US Department of Education issued the Student Success Act.

In early 2012, the House of Education and the Workforce Committee introduced the Student Success Act,an act that aims to provide funding flexibility to states and local school districts, limit federal intervention into local school policies. In addition, parents of the students are empowered as the act ensures that “every dollar spent makes a direct and lasting impact for students,” as according to Speaker John Boehner from the House of Representatives.

It is quite certain that more acts will be issued in efforts to reform the education of the United States. Acts that shift powers, increase funding, and to raise the standards are proven to be somewhat beneficial; however, acts such as the NCLB are on the verge of being overruled for their flaws. Fortunately, we can see the efforts from the government, though more work is yet to be done on our education system.

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