Skip to Content

Real-World Effects of NCLB

The 27-member NEA ESEA Advisory Committee, charged with planning NEA's efforts to change and improve NCLB/ESEA, started out by listening to members around the country. Here's a summary of what they heard:

What HURTS our ability to educate kids?

  • Measuring school success exclusively by test scores narrows the curriculum by making schools teach to the test-"If it's not on the test, kiss it good-bye."
  • Testing that crowds out learning.
  • Failure to acknowledge educators' success, when they take on the tough work of helping students who start out below grade level and whose students make significant academic gains-"NCLB punishes teachers working in at-risk schools."
  • One-size-fits-all formulas that do not recognize the individual needs of students-"Our school's goal was to help only those who may be able to pass."
    Inflexible "highly qualified" teacher and education support professional provisions hinder the recruitment and retention of quality educators.

What would HELP us educate kids better?

  • Measuring school success based on assessment of student learning over time using multiple indicators.
  • Small class sizes to improve student achievement and close achievement gaps.
  • Assessments that measure higher-order thinking and problem-solving skills to help students prepare for life in the 21st century.
  • Tools and resources such as relevant professional development planned with the input of educators that broadens and deepens knowledge, skills, and abilities and provides continuous professional growth.
  • Mentoring that provides time for new teachers to meet and work with their mentors.
  • Programs that foster parent involvement and community engagement.


Teri Vest

Teri Vest
High School English/Social Studies Teacher


  • anc_dyn_linksVoices from the Classroom
    Association members are speaking out passionately, some with anger and sorrow, about the real impact that NCLB is having on them, their students, and their schools.



No Child Left Behind

What's your experience with NCLB? Compare your situation with those of your colleagues on this NEA members' discussion board.

Reply »

View all discussions »