The reality of implementing


The No Child Left behind Act ( NCLB) is a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Act of 1965, itself only one part of President Lyndon Johnson's War on poverty. The Act contains significant amendments attempting to accomplish academic achievement in schools across the nation, raiding the performance of disadvantaged students to the levels of their more affluent counterparts. Rooted in the act were provisions of accountability within states, schools and districts. In addition to this were aspirations for greater choice, increased flexibility and local control for parents, schools and local educational agencies. The law placed high expectation on schools and pupils, however in return promised a quality public education system.

Bush described the education system as failing our children and that this policy would bring an end to the problems of inequality. However the Act has produced meagre gains in achievement and creates incentives that work against the initial goals.

Translating an Act into action is marked by gradual change not rapid progress. .This dissertations focuses on the No Child Left Behind Act as a vehicle for studying U.S education policy. The controversy surrounding its implementation and forthcoming debates over its reauthorization makes it key for evaluating the current trends in policy design.

Evidence suggests that the confidence placed in No child left behind is misplaced. Although government officials thought pioneering the policy, obligating funds, and obtaining local agreements were the most crucial part of the programme, implementation the program proved unexpectedly difficult.

The dissertation proceeds with an introduction to the NCLB's key features and review of the Principle of Double Effect (PDE) in an attempt to analyse the two dimensional nature of the policy. The education system in contemporary society has risen to the top of the nation's political agenda. NCLB notably shifts the Federal position to the top of the decision making process, key historical developments will be analyzed in order to understand current ideological changes. No Child Left Behind's policy is based on a market choice system in which the competition between schools is critical to the system in the fight to raise standards. Free markets growth within schools will be explored in order to understand the consequences for pupils and for society. Lastly a conclusion will be given synthesising the key provisions of NCLB and the implications for pupils, education and our democracy.


In order to understand policy implementation firstly we must begin with the answer, and then work back using conceptual analysis to prove or disprove the proposition. This dissertation begins at the end of the No Child Left Behind Act so the results can be interpreted through shifting ideologies and a historical context.[1]

Three days after taking office President George W. Bush announced his bipartisan framework for the No Child Left Behind Act, more determined, more hopeful and more significant than any other liberal reform in the history of U.S education. Democrats and Republicans joined together in congress in a historical agreement with a mission to build the mind and character of every child from kinder garden through to high school. When signed into law in January 2002, Bush described the education system as failing our children and that the NCLB provisions would eliminate inequality and confront all education problems head on. The law was regarded as an outstanding accomplishment and was hailed as a model for all other nations to duplicate. Bush defines the Federal role in k-12 education and promised to close the achievement gap between the advantaged and disadvantaged pupils of America. At the Act signing bush declared "And we owe the children of America a good education. And today begins a new era, a new time in public education in our country. As of this hour, America's schools will be on a new path of reform, and a new path of results." [2]

Wildavsky and Pressman claim "Implementation may be viewed as the process of interaction between the setting of goals and actions gearing to achieve them,[3] in addition to this they state "to carry out and accomplish, fulfil, produce, complete"[4] . The outcome of implementing a policy cannot succeed or fail without a goal in which to judge it.[5] The goal for NCLB was to close the achievement gap between low performing minority children and their non minority advantaged peers. Although NCLB had brave intensions, years after it began the effects of this standard based accountability reform have still get to be seen. The implementation of this programme was harder than anyone had initially realised.

This dissertation proceeds in five parts beginning with a micro level evaluation of the key features of NCLB, with specific reference to the provision of standard based accountability. Embedded in this overview is the Principle of Double Effect as a tool for understanding the unintended consequences within the provisions of the Act .Chapter three will analyze NCLB at a macro level, putting it in the context of key education policy developments in order to understand the dominate position the Federal government has took in the Act. The theory of free market democracy will be argued in chapter four with its appropriateness for analyzing NCLB and ideological changes. Chapter five will analyze proposed reforms and discuss how they reinforce ideological changes within the education system. Chapter six synthesizes the questions and problems raised by the Federal governments shift in ideologies. Furthermore a conclusion will be given describing consequences for implementing NCLB for the nation as a whole.


The No Child Left Behind Act, Public Law 107 - 110 is one of many policies formulated within a catchall design framework in which the needs of many are to by met through one policy. Stephen Metcalf described his view on the NCLB Act "it is regarded as the most ambitious Federal overhaul of public school since 1960s".[6] George W. Bush touted his bipartisan framework as outstanding accomplishment and hailed it as a model in which all other nations should duplicate. However the provision of the Act actually worked against the initial goals. Arguable the standard based accountability provisions are the most crucial component in evaluating NCLB'S performance. Initially accountability was not an issue of overriding political importance however failure to recognise the complexity of implementing this provision would prove fatal for the overall outcome of the policy. This chapter will show how the initial insignificant details that had not been a source of direct focus caused immense struggles for stakeholders. Significant in its failure is the consensus that the schools and education officials cannot control the minds of the students. Furthermore this chapter will introduce the principle of double effect (PDE) in an effort to evaluate the ideological tensions within the provisions of the Act.

Bushes' principle thrust was to provide new education options and flexibility for parents, particularly if their children attend Title I schools which were identified for improvement due to unsuccessful attempts in meeting Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). A number of education reforms have been implemented over the years, table 1.0 which can be found the apendix (page..) highlights the wide range of catchall programmes claiming to end eduction equalities and problems within schools. NCLB is built upon common sense pillar such as accountability for results and closing the achievement gap. The intension was to improve reading and math test scores at schools across the nation regardless of income, disability and pupils with limited English proficiency.[7] This was an exceptionally radical and ambition goal however it correlates with soaring demands for the historically excluded student population to receive equally high quality education as their counterparts. Desegregation and the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) were both about equality of opportunity ,[8] however with NCLB equality of education was no longer the limit, the demand was also for equality of educational outcome .[9]

Superintendent Samuel .W .King of Portland school in 1874 used standardized testing, publishing the results in the local newspaper along with the names of the schools teachers and pupil. This comprehensive system of test based accountability was initialized annually on the basis to evaluate teacher's compliancy .[10] .However the results back fired on King. Only nine of the fifty-four school students passed. King stood by his tests " Within New England's climate," he wrote, "these examinations necessitate industry, foster promptness and encourage pupils to do the right thing at the right time " [11] .The collation of parents and teachers were less than happy with this result and forced King to resign later in 1877. However Thomas Crawford his predecessor criticized this move. [12] The criticism made of the curriculum were not the only result of Kings plans, another consequence was the high deviant behaviours on the part of the teachers such as rivalry and competition . Moreover the teacher encouraged the lower performing pupils out of the class rooms so that the classroom average would not be dragged down.[13]This gaming of the system was evident of schools across the nation.

A number of questions have arose regarding the implementation of NCLB. Firstly, to what extent were the actions of implementation officials and target groups consistent with the objectives in the policy decision. Secondly how was the policy reformatted over time on the basic of experience. Furthermore it asks to what extents were the principle factors affecting policy out puts. Policies are formulated on the view to solve a social ,political or economic crisis. With this type of view point then it is almost inevitable that the problems will not be adequately met in the eyes of all the participants involved. Teachers, policy makers, pupils the Federal government and local government will all have different needs and these will be met in completely different ways. The contradictory criteria has resulted in policy designers implementing provisions that do not fully meet the needs of the education system and the pupils.

The Principle of double effect supports the recognition of NCLB as it lends itself to non- absolutist arenas and helps in understanding the moral legitimacy of government legislation. Anyone who has had a tooth removed at the dentists will understand that the dentist's actions were only to produce good results. The dentist's actions have two effects, one virtuous and the other harmful. This principle gives support in particular to the NCLB due to the two dimensional outcomes of its provisions. NCLB 's intensions of holding schools accountable and giving parents greater flexibility were laudable however they came with unintended consequences. When good intensions clash with bad outcomes, the predicament arises whether the responsibility to avoid harmful consequences out ways the obligation to do well. The principle of double effect is based on the assumption that there is a problem to address and this is done through good intensions; however the result of the actions is unintended consequences. Furthermore there are effects that everyone notices and is sought after, and secondly the less commonly noticed in our attention. These principles are based on moral rules and not on absolutism[14]. Alison McIntyre notes,

"The doctrine (or principle) of double effect is often invoked to explain the permissibility of an action that causes a serious harm as a side effect of promoting some good end. It is claimed that sometimes it is permissible to cause such a harm as a side effect (or "double effect") of bringing about a good result even though it would not be permissible to cause such a harm as a means to bringing about the same good end"[15]

Provisions of the Act

The senate passed NCLB by a vote of 87-10 in 2002, Sen. John Edwards described it as " a strong one and I commend my colleagues for recognizing that a quality public education is not a conservative or liberal goal" furthermore he claims "we've struck the tight balance by both giving more to our schools and expecting more in return". [16] There were two basic goals that set no NCLB apart from that of previous education reforms. The first is evident in its title "An Act to close the achievement gap with accountability, flexibility, and choices so that no child is left behind" [17] . The goal was to close the achievement gap between the advantaged and disadvantaged, leaving no child left behind in the education system.

The NCLB Act intends to close the achievement gap through a system based on holding the schools accountable for academic performance. In particular focus is the children who traditionally have been have had less opportunities and whose academic achievements have previously have not been seen as important in comparison to their counterpart. When introducing the Act President Bush declared that all U.S students should be 100 % proficient by the year 2014. The Act set annual goals to make sure these goals would be achieved. Adequate yearly progress is a way of measuring how a school is acting in response to students needs. The NCLB Act states that;

"Each State plan shall demonstrates what constitutes adequate yearly progress of the State, and all public elementary schools, secondary schools, and local education agencies in the States, toward enabling all public elementary school students to meet the States' student academic achievement standards, while working toward the goal of narrowing the achievement gap in the States, and local education agencies"[18]

AYP is based on a snapshot of academic achievement between 2001 and 2002.Each individual State then sets a proficiency percentage aim in which they must reach the goal of 100% by 2014.Furthermore each State can determine the most effective way to meet these goals. However the States plans have to be approved by the Federal government, consequences for not meeting AYP were harsh in comparison to previous reforms. If a school failed to meet adequate yearly progress for two years in a row they were sanctioned accordingly . Initial sanctions were being identified as a school in need for improvement and labelled a 'failing' school. After five years schools were subjected to corrective action and in some cases schools were taken over.[19]

The schools were challenged in many ways, not only must they show overall total progress, they also must show adequate progress within subgroups of their pupils. [20] In order to calculate the AYP pupils in each school pupils had to be divided into subgroups. Nine subgroups emerged firstly based on the ethnicity of the pupil these were Blacks, American Indian, White, Hispanic and Pacific Islander. Furthermore children who received free school meals were identified as a subgroup, along with limited English proficiency and those who qualified to receive special educational services.[21] Grade levels were also later included as a subgroup in 2006. [22] Dividing children into sub groups was crucial to the implementation of the Act and calculating progress within a school. However the Federal Government did not provide the test targets, this was left to the State to determine. There are obvious problems with this structure as each subgroup have their own inequalities in contrast with others .Failure in one subgroup triggers AYP identification for the whole school. AYP heavily relies on data produced by the States however the data possibly is not reliable and some even suggest that no progress is being made in schools at all. Furthermore States have the ability to tweak subgroup minimum to increase their chances of meeting AYP. Furthermore larger schools are penalized for having additional subgroups; therefore they have greater chances of failing. Implementing a system based on sub grouping pupils meant that the children more in need of support where punished for failing and not given the adequate help they needed to achieve proficiency level required of them.

In June 2006 the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University released a report claiming that NCLB was not living up to its goal of closing the achievement gap and improving scores in maths and reading, and subsequently would not reach the goal of 100% proficiency by 2014. This claim was built on the findings from the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) which claimed that the high stakes and sanctions were not working as originally planned. Furthermore the report showed that under the NCLB Act students were achieving adequate proficiency levels, however when the same pupils were tested under NAEP testing the results had high discrepancies. Based on NAEP results the national average for reading and maths had not improved, however grade 4 maths did show some improvement after NCLB was first implemented. Furthermore they claimed that testing under NCLB was having little impact on the racial or poverty gap. [23]

In addition to these provisions schools were required to provide parents with detailed report cards showing their accomplishment and the performance of other school. Furthermore they also had to display teacher's qualifications. NCLB promised schools with 'highly 'qualified teachers. However often just having the qualifications meant they did not have the adequate experiences needed to push achievement in the classrooms. This requirement in the law was to give parents the essential information if the school their child attended did not meet AYP. As if to add insult to injury the schools the results within each State were published. Giving the power to the parents in this way is thought to increase the competition between schools and subsequently increase education achievements. [24]

The second key element in which the NCLB Act wishes to achieve is to make sure that no discrimination will take place in the educations curriculum regardless of a pupil's social background or ethnicity as well as students with disabilities. This was a huge challenge to achieve however including disadvantaged children would make sure a more adequate picture of accomplishment within student populations was achieved. Although the intensions were good this phenomenon worked against itself. For example in the year 2009-2010 the state determined that all pupils in each subgroup should be 60% proficient in their tests, then this would include the pupils identified above. States are free to set their own levels of proficiency however setting them high could cost them. Table 1.1 which can be found in the appendix (page...), shows the difference in achievement between pupils eligible for free school lunches and the non eliminable counterparts . This table highlights results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), it clearly illustrates that in 2007 there is still an achievement gap between the advantaged and disadvantaged .An overwhelming quantity of research has shown that the Act is far from achieving the initial targets and in addition the requirements actually counter the Acts initial goals. [25]The provisions of the no child left behind system actually work against disadvantaged pupils as they are included within subgroups and the schools are penalised for their failures.

The federal government uses money for leverage however it is not an easy bargain. If the state chooses to take Federal money they commit themselves to implementing detailed annual assessments in which they are responsible for the outcome of the results, and will be severely sanctioned according if states standards of proficiency are not met.

Criticisms have surrounded the funding for NCLB, and many agree that it is an 'unfunded mandate' with empty promises. If Schools are not delivered the fund they need in order to pay for resources and teacher training they cannot be expected to meet proficiency levels. Moreover they cannot bring the gap between the disadvantaged and advantaged without the resources. Schmoker in 1999 wrote

"Umpteen reforms have come and gone, using up time, money, and hopethey have left a crippling

Disillusionment in their wake, a cynicism about staff development and any belief that training or innovation benefits students."

In writing about the complete failure of the $500 million Annenberg.[26]

Congress will spend $23.3 billion for the Department of Education (ED) to pay for NCLB. As the funds travel from Washington D.C., to the local districts a good percentage will be swallowed by administration fees and bureaucracy costs before it reaches the school. In the fiscal year 2009, NCLB programmes were funded at $25.0 billion. Over $14 billion was dedicated to Tile I grants to local educational agencies.[27] The largest NCLB programme shows............................... Financial aid would be conditional on the performance of the pupils. .however was this not a crucial mistake to make. How could such a major part of the act rely on the mind of the students? It seemed that Federal funds were initially in place for the NCLB act however by the time the policy was set in stone the same funds were not available.

Tried and tested standards based accountability strategies have not come without their problem. However the government has failed to learn from previous reforms lessons. Using the PDE as lens to analyse the provisions of NCLB highlights the two dimensional aspects of their requirements. Although initial intensions were commendable, the unintended consequences proved fatal for the outcome of the policy. Accountability measures for results proved fatal in that it penalized large urban schools with predominately low performing disadvantaged pupils and gave credit to their affluent counterparts. The intensions to implement a system based on accountability for results and assist the needs of disadvantaged students were hindered in through substantial controversy surrounding their key provisions. Calculating AYP through a structure based on subgroups included the disadvantaged children however they did not provide them with the added support they required. Furthermore penalising schools for under achieving created unwanted behaviours. Critics argue that implementing a standard based accountability model in NCLB was actually based on forces out with education and that these had an impact on the provisions of the Act.


Education policy discourses have shifted from the Federal government playing a subordinate role to a direct role .The Federal government under NCLB was to support the State and local levels of education, offering large amounts of Federal funding if their requirements were met. NCLB was strategically designed to address the crisis of the high schools and to move the children of America forward in the global race. This chapter will explore the NCLB provisions that have been dominated by Federal authority. These changes have been legitimized through past Federal involvement, however although NCLB resembles earlier Federal laws, it also differs. The Republican and Democrat governments no longer object to increased Federal Aid and ignore the unintended consequences.[28] By strongly supporting the NCLB Act they have abandoned opposition for an expansion of Federal involvement.[29]

The Federal government was to serve as a leader in helping the nation's children to reach their true potential. The continual success of the education system required an ongoing investment so that pupils could do well and obtain the skills needed. [30] The more money that Federal governments put into education policy the more power they have over the system. Lee W. Anderson described NCLB as "the most visible incarnation of Federal education policy that builds on a tradition of gradually increasing Federal involvement in the Nation's public school systems both resembles and differs from earlier federal education laws". [31]

The Federal government's role in No Child Left Behind Act was the most actively involved than any previous reforms. Furthermore the Federal governments played a dominate roll imposing penalties on schools and states that failed to achieve the required proficiency levels and to meet their adequate yearly progress. The emphasis on government has always been on local and parental control in American education. There are 14,741 local school boards in the United States. Despite all that there has been pressure for even greater levels of control. This usually coming from the predominantly white suburban, pressurising government to do things differently.[32]

Increased Federal intrusion has caused much controversy between an education stakeholders fighting over who will make the key decisions. Utah legislation in 2005 which instructed state to concentrate on the goals of Utah and ignore the provisions of the NCLB that were not in line with the provisions of Utah State. The result of this move for Utah seduction system was the withdrawal of financial support to approximately $756 million. There US representative declare "Id just as soon they take their money back and go back to Washington with it "furthermore he claimed "Let us resolve our education problems ourselves. I will not be threatened by Washington over $76 million".[33]

ESEA Title I funding dramatically effected Federal school financial support. The 21st century reauthorization NCLB Act reflected the growing school movement. The formula has changed over the years however the key elements have remained, the current formula allocates school districts rather than the States. Support is calculated based on the number of poor children in each State and determined also on average spending. The program however is not fully funded, meaning the money is not given to the schools on the basis of this formula. NCLB has a hold harmless clause which makes sure that if a district experiences declines average poor student then their funding will not reduce. [34] NCLB was allocated $13 billion, $3 billion was allocated to States for a competitive sub grants for local education agencies. The schools with the lowest achieving pupils and who demonstrated commitment to closing the achievement gap and meeting proficiency levels were given priority. A further £10 billion was allocated to local education agencies and distributed to schools with the highest percentages of families in poverty .This was an attempt to help them meet adequate yearly progress.[35]

The U.S Constitution does not explicitly mention the Federal role in mention public education, however the Tenth Amendment reserves that "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." [36] Therefore it was no surprise that America employed a decentralized system. Historically the majority of financial support would come from agencies other that the Department of Education. The States role was legally recognized through the history of education legislation. From the framing of the constituting till the early 20th century the Federal government took the view to have little action in public education and that education was the responsibility of the State. Sputnik funding had no responsibility to the State however this changed soon after and funding came with added responsibility. There has been a dramatic rise in regulations of federal funding.[37] Daniel .J. Elazar stated:

"Exclusion of the federal government from either direct activity or any form of control over local educational policy was a principle established quite early in American history.The history of government and education in the United States is, in great part, a history of the development of federal stimulatory activities with the simultaneous limitation of the possibilities for federal control".[38]

Towards a Centralized Federal Government

The Federal governments frae into education began in 1917 with the Smith-Hughes Act of 1917. This established the beginning of a new era of funding for public schools. The Act allocated funds for agricultural, industrial and home economics training for schools and their pupils. [39] History Federal involvement in policies has often been connected with other underlining goals other that education. Such as strengthening national security. However due to constitutional limits on powers of Federal governments the congress cannot just enforce laws that dictate behaviour to the state and local agencies. In practice the state have the option of not accepting education provisions but in turn they will not receive Federal support. In addition the federal courts play a leading role in the behaviour of the state and local educational agencies and are a key player in federal decision making process and marking important changes in policy. [40] The federal governments dominate approach to education and secondary education began in the early 1960s and 1970s

NCLB Act beard particular resemblance to previous education reform. Prior to this the Federal government played a subsidiary role, taking the view that each State should deal with their own education system, however the Elementary and Secondary Act of 1965 went against this view. The NCLB Act is the 21st century and most visible incarnation of Federal education policy. Moreover this is due to the new requirements that it imposes on schools and educational agencies. The shift from a hands-off Federal government to an inclusive dominant character began with a series of reforms .Title I requires every state, on the condition of Federal funding, to establish standards in reading mathematics. These requirements are consistent with previous reform legislation.

Although there is no specific provision for education in the constitution, the Tenth Amendment reserved to the states the powers not delegated to the Federal government or prohibited to the States. Brown vs Board with the backing of the Civil Rights Act confronted school segregation. Title VI of the Act challenged State laws that permitted racial segregation in elementary schools. In Feb 1951 the National Association for the Advancement of coloured people (NAACP) filed a case on behalf of the African American children. The result was victory and classrooms were open to all regardless of their colour. These Acts lead the way for other educational reforms fighting for equality in education.[41]Furthermore it spear headed other Federal access legislation such as the ESEA and NCLB.

The establishment of the Department of Education in 1979 within the movement for centralized controls. The size of federal education programs had grown so large by the 1970s that policy makers argued for a consolidated cabinet - level department of Education. However creating the ED was controversial. There was wide spread fear that the ED would place themselves in control of the schools, government also voiced their fears. Sen. Harrison H. Schmitt highlighted opposition to centralized federal authority " During the last decade, the Federal government has become more and more involved in education. What started out as assistance, primarily financial assistance, to State and local authorities, has emerged as de facto control through the threat of withholding funds upon which local systems had become dependent. The creation of a department of education obviously will strengthen this trend toward centralized decision making in the field of education"[42]

In 1989 the nation's governors set world class standards to guide education practices in a response to poor performing U.S students on international comparative assessments. The national commission on excellence in education published. 'Nation at Risk the imperative for education reform in 1983 catapulted the education system to the forefront of society's minds. The report declared that the nation was drastically failing pupils and that stark reforms were needed. "If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of waras it stands, we have allowed this to happen to ourselves" [43].Sine this report more extensive legislation has been passed each promising a better education for the children of America g. Comprehensive State action plans were drawn up for school improvements. After the war on poverty programmes researches began implementation studies, the finding s were shocking. Studies found a misuse if government funds, services provided to the wrong clients and a stark local resistance to government initiatives.

The Federal government's first major commitment to funding education was the Servicemen's Readjustment Act. Congress passed the GI Bill in 1944.After world war II the veterans were offered financial support for education taking the form of training in colleges and universities in order for them to adjust to civilisation as best they could.[44]In total $14.5 billion of Federal monies by 1956 was issued to war veterans.[45].

Changes in Federal revenue for local educational agencies are an important way to highlight the changing position of the Federal government. Table 1.3 shows the federal revenue for elementary and secondary education for selected years between 1919 -2003. The table illustrates that estimated percentage of all elementary and secondary revenue was only 0.3 % in 1919 which totalled to approximately $1.7 million dollars. By 2002 the total increased to 8.4 % which amounted to approximately $37.5 billion dollars (Digest of education statistics), this however was a discontinues increase due to World War II and the introduction of ESEA. [46]Federal change in revenue is closely linked to social crisis that have little to do with the education system.[47] In 2009 - 2010 an estimated $1.1 billion is being spent on education across the nation.

Academic argument has centred on the role of the Federal government in education. Advocators for a small federal role draw upon the ideas from the Tiebot model. The model is based on small geographically distinct jurisdictions. School districts in this case provide the goods for of the education system. This model assumes the view that the different jurisdictions will compete against each other for residents resulting in low cost services. In this model the families can choose the school that best meets their needs .However there has been little evidence that correlations between districts and other determinates of academic achievement.

The Federal government was to serve as a leader in helping the nation's children to reach their true potential. The continual success of the system requires ongoing investments so that pupils will have the skill and knowledge they need in the 21st century. In order for this to be achieved Federal governments must provide the resources and curriculum and modern technologies.[48] .It is not difficult to imagine a future in which national standards are set by the Department of Education. Despite the increased role of the Federal government no clear progress has been made. The Federal finances given to the schools in NCLB are not enough to accompany future entrepreneurs with the skills they need and the necessary support. Funding hurdles within the system have hinders progress that could have been made. Furthermore the Federal government underestimates the potential in researching and implementing new models .[49]

Through the history of the U.S, the Federal government was not expected to play a dominate role or to be a major source of finance for schools. However over the past five decades this view has changed. The historical context of NCLB shows strong bipartisan support for ideological changes. Furthermore the NCLB shows a shift in unpredictable behaviours of governments view for a dominate Federal government. Without these key ideological changes, NCLB may not have been possible. Although the citizens of America do accept that Federal Government should have some role in schools today, the extent of this role is controversial. Ideological tensions are building for 21st century proposals. The intensions of the national government have come under fire for pursuing national and economic gains. The NCLB Act is a relatively new law and perhaps warns of future Federal control and ideologies centred around national and economic gain.


The existence of educational markets has sparked controversial debates as a result of the recent changes in the education system. NCLB fits in with key developments in which education policy has become subordinate to economic concerns and political power struggles. Economic agendas are now more important as curriculum changes respond to cultural diversity. No Child Left Behind's policy is based on a market choice system in which the competition between schools is critical to the system for the fight to raise standards in public schools. This chapter will examine the pros and cons of a free market based approach in comprehensive and whole schools. This Education Reform Act shows a move away from traditions in implementing policy . NCLB Act is based on market competition as a means of achieving equality for the whole nation. The finance provisions of the Act are key factors in highlighting the shift towards a market type mechanism.

Larry Cuban describes the emergence of thought within education "Economists and policy makers, educators, and taxpayers assume two crucial causal links between education and the economy: that public investments in schooling produced both individual gains in lifetime earnings and collective benefits for the Nation in the form of greater worker productivity, prosperity, a larger share of world markets, and social stability. Economists christened this belief in individual and collective gains accruing from schooling investment in human capital"[50]

The public education system has become party to the local industry and in time will become a local business. The marketing of education is worth approximately $600 billion dollars. Government has been successful in convincing schools to operate systems supporting vouchers and choice programmes. Furthermore they have been encouraged to contract with profit managing companies such as Edison project and Sabis International schools. Although the schools may be convinced, the public however have not been so easy to convince. As a result co-operative companies such as Educational Alternative Inc had their contracts cancelled through large numbers of complaints. A key point in these complaints are that these firms do not have the ability to provide a curriculum and testing packages to provide the children of the 21st century adequately. Consequently, the children are not living up to the standards expected of them.

Schools are continually looking for new interesting materials to motivate students, but they are given little money . [51] School defend these marketing relationships with private corporations through the limited funds that are available to them. The emphasis on measuring outcomes and holding schools and teachers responsible is high on the agenda within privatisation and market reforms. For legislators the prospect of privatising public schooling is high on the agenda due to reduced costs. The privatisation model does not recognise the power of teachers to provide students with the skills needed for citizenship. The teachers authority is devalued and the power taken away thus giving them the materials to teach and requiring them to teach it in a certain way. The role of the teacher is now a class room manager. The pupil is viewed as a consumer of information with the potential, education is treated as a private commodity. The student as a citizen is substituted to the role of education consumer. Together these standards, assessments and consequences constitute a SBA system.

There has been a shift from positivist teacher centres pedagogy to constructivist - centred pedagogy o a. The teachers are transmitting the knowledge to the students at the teachers prescribed rate, students creating knowledge themselves. Teachers no longer tutor the students how to think but what to think. Furthermore, children are exposed to direct advertisements usually found on their note books and all over their school. Co-operative firms offer the exchange of money for this service, however, their priorities are not with the pupils but with a narrow focus on business growth

Furthermore, as the schools struggle to raise funds for resources, they rely on companies such as McDonalds and Nike. McDonalds were criticised for teaching students the procedures for applying to their co-operation. The curriculum they offered was not worthy of the pupils of Broward Country. The goal of such a movement as David Stratman has argued, "Is not to raise the expectations of our young people but to narrow, stifle, and crush them." [52]

Military war and education reforms are similar in that they both involve creating collateral damage in order to achieve their intended outcome. Some might argue that this comparison is drastic. However, throughout the decades of education reforms children become the victim of the Government. Effective authority within market setting is key to success.Reformers usually assume that when there is market choice and competition there is results, however, this strategy has not worked in other settings. Historically systems based on competition have not come without their flaws. A more complex analysis however shows that reforms may actually undercut their intended purposes in the competitive environment. This discussion highlights the constraints that competition and choice can have on educational institutions and the curriculum.

Alex Moiner describes an education in which private corporations and curriculum marketers can influence what is learned in schools. He notes "commercial activities in schools can be seen as three basic forms: - Selling to schools, selling in schools encompasses the use of schools by co-operation to sell products or services, promote their point of view, or address public relations or political problems". [53] They advocate pollution free fuel cell vehicles and their cooperative logos can be found all over class materials such as class planning sheets and so forth. Their website shows their logos with children flying in hot air balloons reinforcing their views. The pupils of the schools are being exploited for business gains. In addition Consumers Union states "schools' chronic shortage of funding for learning materials has lead teachers to welcome free education materials. Teachers are continually looking for new interesting materials to motivate students but they also have little money." [54]Schools defend these marketing relationships with private cooperation's through the limited funds that are available to them. Exploring the relationships between students' achievements within concentrated market framework, the outcome it seems is an education system very different to a system in which there is no competition. Furthermore the increased market concentration has lead to pupils not full filling their potential achievements.

People are not comfortable with the notion of schools making profits or that government will have no role to play in education markets. The notion of a free market education system is radical. However, just like the industrial revolution and the technical revolution, benefits do not come without change. If an education system is to be reached and the desired ends are to be met, then changes must be made. However, a system based on choice, freedom and competition will not work on their own although they might work as an effective education system, other areas such as the inequalities in schools needs to be focused on as a separate issue in order that the required results might be achieved. [55]

Economic Agendas are now more important, curriculum changes respond to cultural diversity. The youth labour market has collapsed in recent times, society is now calling for a system more responsive than that of the free market .[56]Exploring the relationship between students' achievements within the concentrated market framework, the outlook, it seems, is an education system very different to a system in which there is no competition. Furthermore, the increased market competition has lead to pupils falling short of full filling their potential academic achievements.

Market life and policy instruments have an increasingly important roll. Institutional finance and student support are now key characteristics of the academic labour market.

Secondary and primary schools are funded through a formula. Parents have the right to choose which school to send their children and when they do the formula will be applied and cash allocated to the school they attend

Free markets consists of choice, freedom and financial responsibility for parents, furthermore they are based on competition and profit motivesPeople are nor comfortable with the notion of schools making profits or that government will have no roll to play an education market. The notion of a free market education system is radical however just like the industrial revolution and the technical revolution benefits do not come without change. If an education system is to be reached then. If the desired ends are to be met then change must be. However a system based on choice, freedom and competition will not work on their own. Although they might work as an effective education system other areas such as inequality need to be focused on as a seoerat issue in order for the results to be achieved - market choice the unknown history .[57]

Phenomenon is due to many factors such however the key thread that runs through the reasons is the public dissatisfaction with the performance of the public schools and the government's efforts to illuminate the inequalities and its promises for increased achievements in schools. The education system is rife with poor attendance and inadequate resources. Many schools do not represent a 21st century. from a historical stance public schools have undergone a dramatic change and much attention and time has been placed in education reforms. Schools bear a resemblance to a factory in which the product is the pupils. The are pushed though school with the bear minimum knowledge so that they can function in global society. These factors can be seen when looking at the urban inner city schools. The question has been raised weather the public sector would be a better resource in preparing the children of in modern contemporary society.

St Louis school became the us school district to see the potential of business intervention. They were the first U.S district to be taken over by a corporate takeover firm between 2003 and 2004.[58]

Although business is not a new phenomenon elementary and secondary schools. The last 25 years has seen a rapid growth. Three issues have contributed to this growth, the fist being the increase of profit motivation and there education system becoming seen as a source for weath,the increased Federal government intrusion and restrictions, and thirdly the importance placed on education for achieving global success. Scholars have argued the importance that they private sector can play in our education system. Furthermore there has been much controversy which institutional role model would benefit the education the most. Would a system based on the religious sector or the military sector or would a business model be more accurate in producing results in our schools. The education system is a mechanism for which pupils cab achieve suces.Graduating for high school and colleges can determine a pupils earning for the rest of their lives. The hierarchy of annual anula earning ranges from $18,826 for for pupils who do not complete high school to $51,194 for college gradutates (186)

The incentive for school reorms has been challenged and it has been argued that a profit motive lies at the root of the unprecedented number of school reforms. Millions of dollars is passed into the hands of policy designers, developers and through the implementation of the comprehensive or whole school reforms however there is documented evidence that reforms of these natures do not work efficiently. The claims to fully know the needs for curriculum development and unfounded

"The face validity of the concept of comprehensive school reform makes it an attractive policy initiative despite the fact that there is very little evidence to support its effectiveness." [59]

Over the years there has been growth in the business sector the decision making process. Businesses are now at the centres of curriculum choices, hiring and firing of teachers and administrators and establishing school budget prioreties. The Business round table (BRT) and other business interest groups played a roll in the legislation and goals of NCLB. School leaders that agree to the terms of models of shared management such as that of NCLB do so in the knowledge that they will increasingly by pushed out off the way for the interests of business. [60]

Free markets consists of choice, freedom and financial responsibility for parents, furthermore they are based on competition and profit motives. Education policy has become subordinate to power struggle and economic gains. Under NCLB it can be seen that outside private firms ahve been allowed to pierce the schools curriculum and the minds of the pupils. The pupils within the education system are being exploited for economic gains. These corporations do not have the ability to supply schools with the resource needed for the 21st century and have come across stark criticism from education officials and agents. The children are seen as a product if knowledge in which governments need to invest in if they are to achieve economic gains. Furthermore the financial provisions within the Act show a shift towards market based ideologies within schools Competition is a major factor in this Act. Under NCLB states compete with each other for pupils and for funding.Over the years eduction has becoming a big money business in which the Federal government will invest in. Major reforms in the No Child Left Behind's policy are based on a market choice system in which the competition between schools is critical to the system in the fight to raise standards in public schools. The NCLB Act shows a move away from traditions in implementing policy. The Act is based on market competition as a means of achieving equality for the whole nation. The finance and provisions of the Act are key factors in highlighting this act as a market type mechanism. What sort of system can for fill public education goals at the level of the individual and for society as a whole?


NCLB is due to come before Senate for renewal in 2010and it looks like this hotly debated education policy is here to stay. The evidence produced through this dissertation support the claims that confidence placed in NCLB were misplaced. The NCLB act fails to recognise that good schools can teach low performing children and that the minds of pupils cannot be controlled to the degree in which they would like to achieve. In order to achieve the liberal goals delivered in 2002 a reassessment in how progress is calculated n schools is needed. Furthermore the failure to fully fund this policy has haltered them in their goal. The finical support offered to the States has not covered the cost of implementing this system. This has subsequently haltered them in their goal in making sure all U.S children are delivered a quality education. In addition to this the increased Federal intrusion into initially State run policy had caused controversy from a wide number of supporters and further the divide between the government and local agencies. The arguments are likely to increase over time as the Federal intrusion increases and more schools are labelled failing under NCLB.[61]

Debate centres on the implications TITLE I have for the education system under NCLB. It has been claimed that status model is not equipped to calculate progress being made in schools. In targeting this problem a 'growth model' has been suggested, in which the percentage of pupils meeting the proficiency levels instead of focusing on the percentage who did not make proficiency. In addition to this a 'value added model' has been proposed , in which individual pupils achievement scores will be evaluated over time. Either of these approached to calculating progress would provide a more accurate picture of the achievements of the pupils

Quality in education is a group effort in which the people closest are more adequately equipped to meet the needs of pupils. The present situation corrupt students and parents thought he context of government applying force on the production of pupils. In addition to this, quality education also can include the pupils experience in the classroom. Reformer who design education policy on aligning the top down approach to schooling and also the child's experience in the classroom will achieve results in schools. Reform efforts have the possibility of changing the outcome of education for better or for worst[62]. A racial rethink away from traditional standardized testing models may produce the progress expected of education in a 21st century society.[63]

President Barack Obama is proposing a total overhaul of the accountability system provisions under NCLB. His blueprint for the reauthorization on NCLB plans to focus on the achievements of schools from years to year. In addition to this schools will be rewarded for their success and not sanctioned for their failures.

Obama has made his views clear on NCLB, I'll tell you what's wrong with No Child Left Behind," President-elect Barack Obama said in a speech in Manchester, New Hampshire in 2007. "Promising high-quality teachers in every classroom and then leaving the support and the pay for those teachers behind is wrong. Labelling a school and its students as failures one day and then throwing your hands up and walking away from them the next is wrong"[64]

The new blueprint plan will focus on calculating teachers level of qualification on the experience they have in the classrooms and not focus on their qualifications as much. In addition to this the budget has created $950 million for competitive grants programmes with the focus on teacher recruitment. Obama administration are pushing for charter schools and pushing the education shift. Educators and officials have been caught by surprise over Obama's policies changes. It was thought that a total overhaul of the law would result in a reduced Federal role and a move away from standardized testing ,however this was not the case. Standardized testing has increased in importance. "The proposed regulations are overly burdensome," Robert P. Grimesey, superintendent of the Orange County Public Schools in Virginia, said in written comments. "They give the impression that stimulus funds provide the federal government with unbridled capacity to impose bureaucratic demands."[65]

Obama's rewrite of the plan focused on a competitive approach within the schools for funding rather than calculating financial support on formulas. Moreover he will allocate a further $1.35 billion to the $4.35 billion in order to make k-12 more competitive. The 'Race to the Top' programme will be created through an economic stimulus, however money for larger programs focused on low-income and children with disabilities will be allocated through traditional formulas.[66]Furthermore the new blueprint will focus on using standards but allocating more funding towards States who show academic achievement for maths and science. Most States have signed into an effort by the National Governors Association and Council of Chief of State School Officers to developing these high standards in American schools.

It can be seen that although Obama's proposals do target some areas that have caused much debate within NCLB, this is not a total overhaul of the system which is clearly not working. The Federal position within education within this framework still as dominate in schools with very little changes within the requirements expected of the schools and education agencies. Furthermore increasing competitive and financial funding is not a shift away from markets in schools. Increasing the financial support will only result in schools and states relying on Federal funding. Government it seems has realised that increasing funding within schools will produced an increase in financial gains in the long run.


No child left behind reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Act of 2965, promising to close the gap between advantaged and disadvantaged children. Through stronger accountability, encouraging proven education methods. NCLB takes the view that schools and states should be responsible for students learning, this deserving of praise however the disadvantages of implementing this system out way the advantages.

No Child Left Behind promised to raise academic standards and close the acheivemnt gap for all children in the U.S. Chapter one traces the two dimentional aspects of the Acts key provisions . Stnadard based accountability test have hindered thw success of NCLB

Chapter two traced federal legislative history in order to demonstareat the shifting position of the Federal government.In particular the standards based accountability which requests all schools to demonstaret adequate yearly progress as a condition for receiving federal education funds. Chapter three and four NCLBs quest o compete in the global race has changed the role of the federal government from a minor silent partner to a major vocal partner. Morover there has been a shift towards a market based approach opening the doors to cooperate companies in our schools, and examines the tensins this has caused in the eduction system. Mass criteria programs have allowed companies to inject their free market notions into the fereal eduction system. The Eduction system is becoming a business in which a one size fits allapproach and competition for funding are becoming second nature

No Child Left Behinds implementation recuremnts reflect the ideological shifts as well as the debate on whether eduction should be a private or public good.Examining NCLB through the principle of double effect(PDE) provides a view of links amoung ideology and eduction reform of the effects Federal decisions have on society. As introduced in chapter two, PDE shows that action have beneficial and harmful results and bids us to ask the question weather the greater good outweighs the lessor evil. Although No child intensions were good, However the act is flaud in many ways as the unintended consequences that have outweighed the intended good. NCLB proposes system based on stronger accountability,flexibility and choice for arents and encouranging tried and tested eduction methods . Although the intensionw were laudable the program resuted in unintended consequences. In order for these goals to be met the Act propmotes ouside cooperations to enter the eduction refron arean to resolve the problems withing public eduction. While these business claim to supply services to inhance the eduction system there intensions are actually based on economic gain. In addition to this the are not equipt with providing the necessary curriculum and resources for school sof the 21st century.

The Federal government's role in no child left behind Act was the most actively involved then any previous reforms. Furthermore the Federal governments played a dominate rill imposing penalties on schools and states that failed to achieve the required proficiency levels and to meet their adequate yearly progress.

Children learning what they want to learn. And the schools providing the avenue to do that.

At what point are are reforms such as NCLB using the school system at the expense at the expense of citizenship. Society has become clateral damage at the expense of the Nations needs. This phenomenon extends its self to no education arenas aswell. All private - trying to get act through congress giving the Americassiliar UK

Nhs - pupil sectors


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