Academic journal article Monthly Labor Review

Is the No Child Left Behind Act Actually Helpful to Students?

Academic journal article Monthly Labor Review

Is the No Child Left Behind Act Actually Helpful to Students?

Article excerpt

The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001, which is the current version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965, was designed to reward federally funded schools whose students perform well on standardized testing and to impose sanctions on schools whose students' scores fall below the threshold. Does this program serve its purpose?

In "The impact of NCLB's accountability sanctions on school performance: regression discontinuity evidence From North Carolina" (National Bureau of Economic Research, working paper no. 20511, September 2014), authors Thomas Ahn and Jacob Vigdor implement regression discontinuity techniques to contrast North Carolina schools that fall short of criteria for adequate yearly progress during the 2002-2009 period. In so doing, Ahn and Thomas discover some of the NCLB accountability sanctions' positive implications for student performance. The NCLB Act, implemented in 2001, mandated that schools receiving Federal Title I funding would track student performance on tests and impose negative sanctions up to complete closure or reconstitution of a school if student performance fell below state-established levels. …

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