NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED508514
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Apr-1
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Does the No Child Left Behind Act Improve Schools and Increase Educational Opportunity? Point of View Essay
Berlak, Harold
Education Policy Research Unit
In this paper, the author questions whether the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) achieves its stated purpose: to raise standards of academic achievement. Deeper understanding, subtlety of thought, creativity, critical thinking, perseverance, leadership and sensibility about self and the world cannot be measured by multiple-choice technology. The mindless and ubiquitous use of standardized tests as the sole measure of educational progress is as unjust as it is absurd. It has had the effect of labeling close to one third of the nations 91,400 schools as failing in 2002-03 based on the failure to make AYP (Annual Yearly Progress) targets set by NCLB regulations. Reliance on standardized tests affects all students and communities, but as numerous researchers have carefully documented, there is a particularly adverse impact on students and communities of color. Because there is no evidence to support the claim that standardized tests are a valid and credible measure of academic achievement, these tests are a particularly invidious form of structural racism lending the cloak of science to policies and practices that have denied, and are continuing to deny, persons of color equal access to educational and job opportunities.
Education Policy Research Unit. Arizona State University, Division of Advanced Studies in Education Policy, Leadership, and Curriculum, Mary Lou Fulton Institute and Graduate School of Education, P.O. Box 872411, Tempe, AZ 85287. Tel: 480-965-1886; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Arizona State University, Education Policy Research Unit
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Equal Access; No Child Left Behind Act 2001