Re-envisioning No Child Left Behind, and What It Means for Arts Education
In his 2011 State of the Union Address, President Obama spent almost 10 of his 60 minutes discussing why it’s so essential to offer every child a world-class education:
Over the next 10 years, nearly half of all new jobs will require education that goes beyond a high school education. And yet, as many as a quarter of our students aren’t even finishing high school […] To all 50 states, we said, ‘If you show us the most innovative plans to improve teacher quality and student achievement, we’ll show you the money.’
As part of his education agenda, Obama proposes to change the No Child Left Behind Act, formerly known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). You may have heard of No Child Left Behind: a Bush-administration law that requires schools to heavily test students, and that punishes schools where students do not meet baseline test scores. It hasn’t really worked, but more on this later.
What I wanted to know is what Obama is proposing in his “Blueprint for Reform: the Re-authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.” And perhaps the juicier question for the arts education field: what does this proposal imply for the future of the arts in schools?
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act: A brief history