No Child Left Behind Act

The federal government dramatically expanded its role in K–12 education policy with the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. This entry explains the provisions of NCLB, including its requirements for annual student testing and for schools to meet targets for student proficiency in English and math. It then discusses the consequences the law outlined for schools that failed to meet the targets, the debate over the effects of NCLB, the flexibility granted to certain states in meeting the law’s requirements, and the replacement of NCLB with the Every Student Succeeds Act.

In January 2002, NCLB was signed into law by President George W. Bush, after receiving bipartisan support in Congress. The original Elementary ...

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