Raising the bar: ‘no child left behind’
The most important people involved in the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) are, of course, the children. However, educating teachers and parents on what this means for their students and children should be first step whenever NCLB is a part of the educational system. Most educators and parents are confused by NCLB, and this act restricts teachers’ curricula and students’ learning in unnecessary ways. School boards, teachers’ associations, PTAs, homeschooling groups, and parent groups should be among the first groups to be contacted, and holding meetings with these groups to speak about NCLB and its effects on their classrooms, students, and children can be a crucial first step in gathering support for educating others about NCLB.
Working from these smaller groups, holding open community sessions to inform interested taxpayers and community members about NCLB can be a very useful method for spreading the word about this educational act, and will provide a forum for questions and suggestions for reform. In addition, this could allow adaptations to be made to the existing system in order to better meet the needs of a specific school district and its student population. Indeed, such an opportunity of idea sharing could be the means of complete reform for NCLB.
Community involvement and community voices are our strongest means of influencing the laws that are passed in the United States. It may sound rather cliché, but our children are our future, and their education should be of utmost importance to all. Letter writing campaigns to elected officials, peaceful and carefully managed protests, and – perhaps most important of all – voting, are the most effective ways Americans have of displaying our views and what we want for our lives and our country.
However, it all begins in education – education of the people about what their government is doing and how it can directly influence their children and their future. It is, perhaps, fitting that NCLB is an educational reform act, because it certainly has the power to revitalize the way we educate our communities.