How has NCLB affected your school?

How has NCLB changed the way my school operates? I suppose I could give a pat answer that details the effects of increased accountability, federal standards, AYP, and all of that, but in reality, I’m not at a place to answer this question. I was in middle school when the bill was passed, so asking me in 2010 how a nearly decade-old policy affects a school I have worked for since last year assumes more than I am able to provide. Naturally, I see how concerned everyone is with the ripple effects of this legislation, but since I really have no other frame of reference (since standardized testing, the TAAS, was already in place when I moved to Texas in 1994) it is essentially impossible for me to fully answer this question, clearly posed by those of much more experience and tenure and with little regard for those of us in similar situations as me. Some of the effects of NCLB that I see (again, keeping in mind I have no point of reference) are: endless meetings about data disaggregation, demographics, and sub populations while teachers are asked to not only be good educators, but good administrators, dealing with arduous paperwork and excessive amounts of administrative tasks that are of no direct correlation to the instruction of students. However, when the government says “jump,” you jump. Rather, you ask “how high?” The most common attitude I run across is that No Child Left Behind is, in reality, leaving more children behind than if the legislation had not been passed to begin with. This is not to say that standards and accountability are bad things; quite the contrary in fact. But the implementation and methodology in which accountability is leveraged is a primer in what not to do unless you are dually prepared for a massive influx of students who have been passed along from grade to grade without true mastery, all the while blaming each teacher from the year prior while not holding the child accountable.

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