Purpose Statement, Dissertation Example
The No Child Left Behind Act was implemented in 2002 and it forever changed the classroom for both teachers and students. The Act has greatly affected the K-8 setting. Many feel it has restricted teachers from using their own creativity to convey knowledge to students and caused teachers to focus more on testing. The classroom has evolved into a preparation room for standardized testing. Teachers are now teaching the test instead of skills. They are teaching students ways to master the test. Unfortunately, many of this tricks they are being taught do not transfer over into real life. According to the Act, all students will arrive at the same level of proficiency by 2014. Each year, students in grades 3-8 are being tested in their core subject areas with more concentration being placed on reading and math. The purpose of this paper is to convey that because of the pressures placed on teachers by the No Child Left Behind Act, fewer students are adequately equipped to enter the work force or go on to a college. Teachers are afraid of losing their jobs when their students do not make yearly adequate progress, so often they tweak grades and students’ scores. (Haertel, R., Linn, R, L., Shavelson, R, J, & Shepard, L, A, 2010).
In the K-8 setting there are four core subjects: reading, math, science, and social studies. However, because of testing implemented by the No Child Left Behind Act, many schools are only teaching science and social studies once or twice a week. They are forcing all teachers to be reading and math teachers because those are the two subjects being tested by No Child Left Behind. Consequently, when students arrive at the 9th grade level they are deficient in the other core areas. This process is failing our students. The Act affects all subjects in the school. Although the No Child Left Behind Act only tests in reading and math, focus needs to be placed on how other core subject areas are affected as well. For example, “Teachers can no longer be flexible in the amount of time they spend on one specific lesson because they have to quickly cover all of the content. However, this time limit creates a major problem. With rigid standards, teachers have a difficult time getting every student to make adequate yearly progress in math. Teachers not only need to teach the concepts, but the students need to use them in real life situations.” (Hammond-Darling, L, 2010).
Students must learn basic concepts before they can move on to more in depth concepts. The major problem with NCLB is that it requires students to learn basic skills and major concepts at the same time. As a result, teachers must differentiate instruction which allows some students to work ahead and other to stay behind. Consequently, it is impossible for all of them to arrive at the finish line at the same time. (Leedy, P. D., & Ormrod, J. E.2010).
One of the major arguments against NCLB is that standardized testing is not an effective way to determine if progress is being made. They are limited to the material they believe should be covered. Also, most test questions are multiple choices. Many students suffer from text anxiety and do not do well with multiple guess testing. Test scores alone should not be the only way to determine the progress of a school. Evidence shows that a valid way of measuring teachers’ effectiveness should be based upon multiple evaluation methods. President Obama promised educators that changes were going to be made. He said that teachers would no longer be wasting time preparing students to fill in bubble sheets. He conveyed that students are no longer getting a well-rounded education.
Hammond-Darling, L, (2010). Evaluating teacher effectiveness; how teacher performance assessments can measure and improve teaching. Center for American Progress. Retrieved from: http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED535859.pdf
Leedy, P. D., & Ormrod, J. E. (2010). Practical research: Planning and design. Upper Sadle River, New Jersey: Merrill.
Rothstein, R., Ladd, H, F., Ravitch, D., Baker, E, L., Barton, P, E., Darling-Hammond, L.Haertel, R., Linn, R, L., Shavelson, R, J, & Shepard, L, A, (2010). Problems with the use of student test scores to evaluate teachers. Economic Policy Institute: Research and Ideas for Shared Prosperity. Retrieved from: http://www.epi.org/publication/bp278/
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