Local School Boards and "No Child Left Behind"

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Virginia Tech

"No Child Left Behind" (NCLB) has generated considerable attention within the education world. The purpose of this thesis is to question how local governments, i.e., local Boards of Education, have reacted to the current involvement and demands of the federal government. NCLB has only started to have an impact on local schools in the last few years as they have begun to fall into various categories of being "in need of improvement" based on failing to meet established goals. School boards are put in a position to rethink their programs and reevaluate their own efforts as they attempt to insure students are meeting the benchmarks established by the federal and state governments and that Highly Qualified Teachers are in every child's classroom. This thesis looks at the actions of six districts in southern New Jersey that are not meeting these mandates and the actions of the Boards of Education towards student achievement and hiring teachers. Demands and requirements of federal and state legislation and policies are narrowing the areas in which school boards can take action. Those actions that are being taken appear to be led by the district Superintendent. This lack of leadership by the elected officials may eventually lead to school boards that are more and more community advisory boards and less and less governing bodies.

No Child Left Behind, school boards, education policy