Historically Black Colleges and Universities

What is the purpose of the “No Child Left Behind Act”?

On January 8, 2002, the No Child Left Behind Act was signed into law by President George W. Bush. The Act was designed to close the achievement gap between whites and nonwhites. It also represented a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, or ESEA. The assessment of the schools, known as the Nation’s Report Card, suggested in 2005 that the achievement gap was lessening. Other educators disagreed with the improvement because of lack of funding, distribution of funds, and the lack of the federal government’s commitment to imposing mandates in relationship to funding. Others charged that white schools are able to use political clout not available to minority schools to obtain waivers from compliance. The central issue continues to reflect the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (1954) controversy of racial isolation. Critics claim that NCLB is funded at a level much lower than necessary to meet the mandate of the legislation. Although some improvement in the achievement of African-American students has been realized, the academic gap remains.


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