No Child Left Behind Act

(2001)

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 received overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress that year, but President George W. Bush did not actually sign the bill into law until January 8, 2002. The act represented a massive effort to reform the nation's educational system. The chief goal of the law is to impose measurable standards on schools and school districts; the belief is that setting high standards and measuring progress against those standards is the best way to achieve high outcomes among students. Considerable emphasis is placed on standardized testing, and any state that fails to meet standards can be denied federal funding for its schools. The overarching goal is for every student to test at grade level by the year 2014.


Since 2002, the No Child Left Behind Act has resulted in significant increases in federal outlays for education. One of the most dramatic increases was for reading instruction, which quadrupled in the five years after the bill became law. The...

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George W. Bush (Library of Congress)

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