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ERIC Number: EJ774894
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Sep
Pages: 15
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 27
ISSN: ISSN-1361-3324
The Rhetoric and Reality of NCLB
Gay, Geneva
Race, Ethnicity and Education, v10 n3 p279-293 Sep 2007
Whether explicitly by name or not No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is a force for reckoning in the lives of US educators, students and people at large. What exactly is the nature of this "force" and for whom? Why are its actions and effects often not compatible with its declared intentions? This policy is supposed to be a transformative approach by the federal government to closing the achievement gap by ensuring that "all" students from various ethnic, social, racial, cultural, economic and ability backgrounds receive the "same" high-quality education. But, how real is this rhetoric? Are the intended benefactors--as claimed in policy declarations--the ones in actuality? Is there a subtext to the mandates of NCLB that perpetuate educational inequities and achievement gaps instead of overcoming them? Is NCLB more rhetoric than reality, fiction than fact, reproduction than transformation, form than substance? These are the questions that underlie the subsequent discussion. While each one will not be answered separately they are all embedded in the analyses presented. Readers are challenged to think deeply and critically about NCLB with respect to what this educational policy and its related practices promise, what they actually deliver and to whom, and how they affect the most vulnerable student populations in US schools. Four claims are examined here to reveal some of the inherent contradictions in what NCLB purports to do, and what it actually does. These are educational significance, teacher quality, the choice for all students to attend a high-achieving school and dealing with diversity.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001