No Child Left Behind Act
The No Child Left behind Act of 2001 (NCLB)
poses a plethora of information involving both the general education classroom and the special education classroom.
Under NCLB, students with disabilities are to be included in the general education classroom. They no longer
have to be educated in separate classrooms, such as resource rooms and special education classrooms. This act of the students
with disabilities being incorporated into the general education classroom is called inclusion. These students now receive
the same instruction as their non-disabled peers.
Although incorporating special education students into the general education classroom may be beneficial to those with
disabilities, my experiences concerning this are that it is more harmful to many of the students than helpful. I say this
because I have been in classrooms where this law was put in action and it was not beneficial to the students with disabilities
at all. I observed a student with attention deficit disorder (ADD) and a student with mild mental retardation. These students
were not able to stay on the same pace as the other students because they needed the one-on-one attention from the special
education teacher. The special education teacher could not provide these students with the attention they needed because under
NCLB, they had to assist every student in the classroom, without giving more attention to one particular student. This was
ridiculous to me because the special education students are the ones who need the most assistance.
NCLB will definitely affect my students and me. I say this because I plan on teaching mathematics. Mathematics is one
of the most difficult subjects for students. Also, it is the area where most students with learning disabilities have difficulties
in. So it is clear that students with disabilities will demand more attention and more assistance than their non-disabled
peers in the area of math. Because I will be the special education teacher, under NCLB, I will be responsible for assisting
all students in the classroom. This is no problem; however, it will be a problem that I can not give those disabled individuals
more assistance than the other students. It makes no sense to me at all. This portion of the law truly needs to be modified
in some way.
Now, this law is impacting me emotionally. It truly hurts me to sit in those classrooms and see those students lost
and confused each day I observed them. Although when I was there I assisted those disabled individuals, I can’t help
to think about what happens on the days I am not there.
In addition, NCLB requires schools to teach all children to proficiency in reading, math, and science by 2014. The
key requirements of the law include the following: highly qualified teachers in every classroom, annual proficiency tests
in grades 3-8, and state, district, and school report cards.
I agree with the law in that all teachers should be highly qualified.
I feel that the more you know the more effective you will be. I would feel much more comfortable and confident if my own children
had teachers who were highly qualified.
Moreover, I believe that having students perform on the proficiency level on tests by 2014 is a reasonable goal. The
vigorous assessments mandated from NCLB would enhance the students’ thinking and cause them to think on a higher level.
School report cards are a great idea because if a school is performing poorly, they will be able to detect the problem
before it worsens. They would also be able to provide interventions and programs to assist the students.
Furthermore, NCLB mandates reasonable adaptations and accommodations for students with disabilities. This means that
under the law, teachers must change or modify their instruction for those with disabilities. For example, if a student has
a specific learning disability, the teacher could allow this student more time to take tests, and even allow this student
to have a study partner.
All teachers should incorporate this into their classrooms. Students who are in special education may have several
challenges and a teacher modifying instruction for him or her can make learning a lot less stressful for him or her.
Manual, August 2005, Council of Chief State School
Lerner, J., & Kline, F. (2006). Learning Disabilities and
Related Disorders: Characteristics and Teaching Strategies. Houghton Mifflin Company: Boston.