Harvard Educational Review
  1. Winter 2006 Issue »

    No Child Left Behind

    The Ongoing Movement for Public Education Reform

    Rod Paige
    In this essay, former secretary of education Rod Paige depicts the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) as the culmination of more than half a century of urgent but largely unheeded calls for reform of the nation’s public education system. He explains the rationale for the design of NCLB and responds to several criticisms of the legislation, including the notion that it is a one-size-fits-all mandate and that its improvement targets are unrealistic. He further argues that the nation’s public schools must become more responsive to the needs of students and their families in order to remain viable. Finally, he contends that subsequent reauthorizations should stay true to NCLB’s original goal of holding school systems accountable for equipping all students with the academic skills on which America’s future depends.

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    Rod Paige is currently chairman of Chartwell Education Group LLC, a global education consulting firm based in New York City and Washington, D.C. He served as the seventh U.S. secretary of education, from 2001 through 2005, and was the first former school superintendent to hold this position. As secretary of education, Paige oversaw the creation, authorization, and implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act. A former teacher and coach, Paige has also served as dean of the College of Education at Texas Southern University and as a board of education member and superintendent of the Houston Independent School District. In 2001, the American Association of School Administrators named him National Superintendent of the Year. Paige has also been a public policy fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
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    Winter 2006 Issue


    Foreword (full text)
    Senator Edward M. Kennedy
    Introduction to Assessing NCLB (full text)
    The Editors
    No Child Left Behind
    The Ongoing Movement for Public Education Reform
    Rod Paige
    From New Deal to No Deal
    No Child Left Behind and the Devolution of Responsibility for Equal Opportunity
    Harvey Kantor and Robert Lowe
    Will NCLB Improve or Harm Public Education?
    John W. Borkowski and Maree Sneed
    Domesticating a Revolution
    No Child Left Behind Reforms and State Administrative Response
    Gail L. Sunderman and Gary Orfield
    Real Improvement for Real Students
    Test Smarter, Serve Better
    Betty J. Sternberg
    Why Connecticut Sued the Federal Government over No Child Left Behind
    Richard Blumenthal
    Getting Ruby a Quality Public Education
    Forty-Two Years of Building the Demand for Quality Public Schools through Parental and Public Involvement
    Arnold F. Fege
    Accountability without Angst?
    Public Opinion and No Child Left Behind
    Frederick M. Hess
    Forces of Accountability?
    The Power of Poor Parents in NCLB
    John Rogers
    No Child Left Behind and High School Reform
    Linda Darling-Hammond
    Troubling Images of Teaching in No Child Left Behind
    Marilyn Cochran-Smith and Susan Lytle
    High School Students’ Perspectives on the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act’s Definition of a Highly Qualified Teacher
    Veronica Garcia, with Wilhemina Agbemakplido, Hanan Abdella, Oscar Lopez Jr., and Rashida T. Registe
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