How has the "No Child Left Behind Act" affected your teaching duties?'s Teacher Poll of the Week
How has the "No Child Left Behind Act" affected your teaching duties?
It has made my job easier.
It has made my job more difficult.
It has had no affect on my job.

View Results

An overwhelming majority of teachers feel that the "No Child Left Behind Act" has made their job more difficult. The act requires school to administer standardized testing in order for government to assess their funding levels. If schools do not meet standards set by the state then they must take corrective measures to ensure their students are meeting basic requirement.

While proponents of the Act like the idea of accountability in the education system there are many drawbacks which detractors have pointed out. The stresses put on students and teachers to achieve a certain level of results can be difficult. Some people believe that it causes schools to concentrate on narrow, focused core development to the exclusion of other subjects in an effort to meet state standards. Students who are gifted often miss opportunities for enrichment because schools become so focused on providing core education to all students.

As far as teachers are concerned it gives them less freedom to use alternate teaching methods in their classrooms. State and school based directives guide much of the teaching, stifling creativity in the classroom. The pressure to produce results leads to more teacher burn out and has a negative impact on the teaching profession. Those in favour of the public labelling of schools point to the fact that parents can use available data to choose which school they want their children to attend. While this may be beneficial to a small minority of people and schools, the remainder are left struggling to uphold an image which can be tarnished by the results of one set of tests.

The time involved in the administration of standardized testing is also a concern. The pressure to produce adequate results forces some teachers to focus more of their classroom time on preparing for the tests than on other lessons. Further time is then spent on the actual administration of the tests to students. Teachers point out the fact that students are actually losing out on instructional time when they prepare and take these standardized tests.

The idea behind the Act is admirable but the reality of its implementation is not. The fact that so many teachers feel the Act has made their jobs more difficult is the best indicator that something needs to change.