Since the No Child Left Behind Act was created, there have been some changes in the following areas:
Special education- allows those with disabilities to take a different test that adjusts to their achievement standards as well as allowing more time on tests to students who need it.
Limited English Proficient students- Students who have lived in the US for less than a year are exempt from taking a reading test, but are required to take an English-language proficiency test.
Highly qualified teacher rules-changes have been made for rural, science, and multiple subject teachers in regards to qualification deadlines.
95% test participation- States can now average their standardized testing scores over a three year timeline.
Paraprofessional deadline extended- there has been a change in the deadline for public school professionals to obtain the “highly qualified” requirements from January to the end of the school year.
Hurricane Flexibility- if a natural disaster occurs the school is exempt for one year regarding the Adequate Yearly Progress standards.
Highly qualified teachers extension- some states were given a year extension on teachers meeting the “highly qualified” standards.
Growth Models- Up to ten states can apply to use the growth model in which students are measured over time; however, it is still only based on two tests.
Supplemental Educational Services- Districts are now allowed to provide supplement education to schools that “need improvement”; however, not all states qualify.
Since the No Child Left Behind act is up for revision this year, the National Education Association has already offered up several opportunities to make the act more efficient and applicable to the “real needs of children”. They have proposed a plan to make three fundamental changes:
Use more than test scores to measure student learning and performance- Include multiple measures of student learning and school effectiveness instead of the current one-day snapshot based solely on standardized tests. Reward progress over time to improve student achievement at all levels. Recognize individual needs of students (Special Education; English Language Learners.)
Decrease the number of students per class- This will allow more student teacher one-on-one learning time as well as allow the teachers to reach out to individual students.
Increase the number of highly qualified teachers in our schools- Teachers working at “hard-to-staff” schools will be provided with financial incentives. Also, teachers with multiple subjects should be allowed more flexibility within the classroom.