What People Say About NCLB
The Public:Does the public think NCLB is working? No. Phi Delta Kappan International conducts an annual poll of the public's attitudes about education. In the 2006 poll, which included questions about NCLB, seven out of 10 of those who said they had some knowledge of the law said it is either making no difference in the local schools or hurting them.
Classroom teachers and education support professionals:
Our members' opinions about NCLB are in sync with those of the public. They say that NCLB has not improved public education because of inadequate funding, the punitive nature of the law, and the sole reliance on standardized testing to measure student achievement.
Key findings of June 2006 poll of 1,000 NEA members:
- 69% disapprove (49% strongly) of NCLB vs. 29% approve.
- 57% want major changes to the law, 21% want minor changes, 17% favor repeal, and 4% want to keep it as it is.
- 95% want the Association to be active in working to change the law.
- 85% believe there is too much reliance on standardized testing.
Proposals to improve NCLB rated highest by our members (% strongly favor):
- Use multiple measures instead of just tests (71%)
- Measure student achievement over time instead of just the day of the test (70%)
- Ensure that employee rights under contracts and laws are respected (65%)
- The federal government should fully fund the mandates (64%)
- Restore the class size reduction program (63%).
Voices From America's Classrooms:
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.
The bottom line:
There is widespread agreement that NCLB is presenting real obstacles to improving student learning and closing achievement gaps.