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The ISD Editorial Board discusses the impact of the No Child Left Behind Act on the American education system. 

Editor's Note: Editorials are representative of the views of all Editorial Board members. One or two members will compile these views and write an editorial.

Everyone wants their kids to succeed. We want to see our kids be better than us, do more, be better people. This translates to all aspects of their life, from education to who they are as a person. 

Our school system is set up in a way so that no child is left behind. Great! What a wonderful way to have the schools, so that no one will be left behind and everyone will be learning. An amazing dream to be living in. If only that's what the No Child Left Behind Act actually did to our schools here in America. 

Our schools here in America are lacking so much. The No Child Left Behind Act did the opposite of what it intended; it pushed our schools further behind instead of helping them gain leverage and become better. 

Early on in the act’s run, some of those in charge of schools, such as principals and superintendents, had suspicions regarding the motivations behind the act. If those who are living under the rule of something are able to see an issue with it, that is something to note. Clearly, something within the act was causing a bit of an issue right away. The No Child Left Behind Act had many issues it created and helped to flourish, but in this editorial, we are only going to focus on a few.

Teachers had to become focused on teaching to standards. Yearly benchmarks and standardized testing helped to foster a focus on just making sure students could reach a standard well. Teaching to the standards does not allow students to fully understand the concepts and teaches more of a memorize-and-forget-type classroom. Educators had to become focused on test scores, and so the student’s knowledge of the material was less important. 

Funding was also significantly impacted by the act. It was expected to be able to better allocate resources to places with children in greater need. Unfortunately, what is expected is not always what happens. Federal funding was also supposed to be more flexible in spending at the state and district levels. The funding of our education system is important; it allows children to have access to what they need in their school. While the funding proposed by the No Child Left Behind Act seemed to be a good idea, it had some shortcomings. 

One of these shortcomings was a lack of adequate funding. State and district education agencies had to deal with the funding much more. This law did not always provide full reimbursement for expenses used, however.  That means that districts with lower income levels were left at a disadvantage. The funding needed to be better allocated. 

The No Child Left Behind Act had very good intentions, but the execution of these intentions was less than amazing. We have been left with a broken and damaged education system from the impacts of many things, but the act certainly did not help. 

What is needed now is an overhaul of our education system. We need to fix the American education system and make it better for the children growing up. After all, we want the world to be better for them, don’t we?  

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Editorials are longer opinion pieces that are written by a group of community members recruited across campus who address relevant issues on a local, national and international level. Editorials are research-based. The purpose of the Editorial Board is to promote discussion concerning relevant issues in the community while advising on possible solutions. Topics are chosen via relevancy and interests of the members, which are then discussed by the Editorial Board in order to reach a general consensus concerning the topic or issue.

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(1) comment

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