The installment of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) was initially seen as a breakthrough step in helping all children reach academic proficiency standards while simultaneously helping to create better schools and educators. But as Bush’s education law celebrates its 10th birthday, many are finally realizing that NCLB’s promise was just too good to be true. Now critics are labeling the law as federal overreach and insisting that changes have to be made to alter the Act’s impractical expectations. Here are the highlights of NCLB, so you can decide for yourself.
How it was designed:
- States must individually develop achievement standards if they are to receive Federal funding
- Within each state, all students in the same grade must complete the required basic skills assessment
- Schools will be publicly labeled based on their test results, to increase accountability on a school and teacher level
- By the year 2014, every child will test on grade level in reading and math
- The Act brought awareness to neglected schools where many thought performance was normal
- Based on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), test scores in reading and math improved in several age groups, particularly within the lowest-achieving students
- According to the National Council for Disabilities (NCD), NCLB has changed the attitude towards students with disabilities by including them within the statewide standards
- The importance of standardized testing altered the material being taught in class, encouraging teachers to focus on a more narrow set of skills (think less art, science, and history, more reading and math) just so they can pass the assessment
- High-performing and gifted students are now receiving less attention than other students and have seen slower progress
- Thousands of schools were labeled as failures (a term that becomes less inspiring year after year)
- The gains seen based on test scores have plateaued, perhaps signaling the need for an update
To gain more insight on the No Child Left Behind debate, click here.
Via: Best Online Colleges Guide
Published every three years, the College Board’s Education Pays report (last published in 2010) is a good reminder of what impact a higher education has on the life of a student. It contains all the same statistics you’ve heard about future earnings and job stability, which is a welcome reassurance that the price of college is still worth it, but the report goes beyond that and addresses the social and health impacts of getting an education. That’s right. Going to college impacts your health and the health of any children you may have. Read the full report or check out the highlights:
- From 1998 to 2008, the percentage of four-year college graduates who smoked declined from 14% to 9%, while the rate for high school graduates declined from 29% to 27%. That means college grads are three times less likely to smoke.
- The report says, “At every age, individuals with higher levels of education are more likely than those with lower levels of education to engage in leisure-time exercise.” The numbers are more compelling: 63% of four-year college graduates said they exercised vigorously at least once a week. Among high school graduates in this age range, it was only 37%.
- College grads are less likely to be overweight as they age. Among 35- to 44-year-olds, 23% of four-year college graduates and 37% of high school graduates were obese in 2008.
- Mothers with only a high school education are 31% more likely than mothers with a bachelor’s degree or higher to give birth to babies weighing less than 5.5 pounds (a low birth weight, which could have medical implications).
The point here? Going to college isn’t just about your ambition, your salary, or your job. Education affects the way you live. So stay healthy and get wise by going to school.