No Child Left Behind or Some Children Left Behind (by Patsia Vang)

patsiaAlthough not all of us millennials display these characteristics to the extremes that were described in the TIME article as the rich kid behavior, it is still there. The No Child Left Behind act has many pros and cons to it that affect many students. Because it puts into play a requirement of having standardized tests in order to move up a grade, it ensures that students are learning and that teachers are doing their jobs in making sure their students were retaining information. However, because of the act, it required a stricter guideline for teachers to become teachers and the qualifications increased therefore not having enough teachers. This could have resulted in lower quality teaching. The fewer the teachers, the larger the classrooms, which resulted in lower quality curriculum. There was less one on one time with students and the student-teacher ratio was, and continues to be, very skewed. Additionally, the focus on standardized testing increased. If students didn’t do well on an exam, they probably felt as though they weren’t smart enough.

Often times, we let our test scores define our intelligence and this is the problem. If the act had been implemented in a previous generation, I think that the results of how things are now would show no change, if not, maybe even stricter. If it had been around longer, then the idea of our intelligence being measured via tests would just further consume how we viewed our own ability to learn and define how smart we were. Times are different now than they were back then, and I think that if there were to be a shift of views on the conditions in which each student is faced when it comes to their ability to take a standardized test. What are they facing outside of school that could affect their ability to do well on these tests?

  • How have standardized tests affected you academically?
  • Do you think that standardized tests are effective?
  • What are ways that the No Child Left Behind act could improve on in terms of being academically inclusive?
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3 thoughts on “No Child Left Behind or Some Children Left Behind (by Patsia Vang)

  1. Many years ago when I was in school, we took one statewide test. Teachers gave us orange juice and a dixie cup with peanuts and raisins, and we hunkered down for 2 days and tested. I don’t remember it having the same weight as in current years. What I have learned over the years, is testing isn’t always an accurate watermark for how a child is learning. Some students are simply not great test takers. And while “testing” in formal ways has a time and place, there are so many other ways to get an authentic snapshot of where students are. The other egregious flaw in our current standardized testing cycle, is it’s lack of consideration for socioeconomic conditions. I think you asked the perfect question: “What are they facing outside of school that could affect their ability to do well on these tests?”

  2. When I was in middle school I can remember taking state wide tests on math, science, reading and writing. Each test was near 100 questions and while we were taking the test we were stuck in a cubical. The tests had a great impact on what teachers and classes we got for the next year. The students that did not meet expectations were placed in class that would work with them to improve in that specific area while also getting classes that were not as difficult as others. I am not a fan of standardized testing, I am a student who has always taken school seriously and made sure I am prepared for each test and still I am not the best at test taking. The No Chid Left Behind Act is not a very accurate and fair way to see where students are at in their academics and as Sarah mentioned, socioeconomic status has a lot to do with it.

  3. In my life standardized tests were awful. I remember hating them in high school because that was the one test my teachers focused on. I was and continue to be a good student but when it came to standardized tests there was always something about them that I couldn’t pass. I don’t know that my teachers thought less of me because I couldn’t pass those tests but it definitely felt like sometimes my teachers attitudes towards me changed. It was not a good feeling to know that according to these state tests I was not performing well even though my grades in school refuted that fact. I do not think that standardized tests are good judge of a students ability at all. Test anxiety is a real thing and many students do not do well under pressure. I feel that these tests should not be stressed as much as they are. It puts a lot of pressure on students. I hope that eventually it will be seen that these tests are not helping and also that they are not a true testament to how a student is actually doing academically.

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