Dr. Morreale and I have been working on the analyzing the data that we have found on the No Child Left Behind Act. I have completed the literature review and have already began working on regression analysis. The literature review concluded that the Act is in great danger of failing to meet its goal. Although, there has been an increase in students overall performance in our country, the act has been unsuccessful at narrowing the achievement gap. We have looked at the reading and math test scores from the year 2011 on hispanic and black students and students with reduce lunch and have found that many of them are still falling behind and the achievement gap has not been narrowed. We compared this data to other years from 1999-2010 and have found that even before the act was introduced students were falling behind and after it still has shown very little to no effect on the overall scores.
As of now Dr. Morreale will be helping me plug all the data that I have collected into excel and from that we will work on the regression analysis. We are also planning on not just analyzing the Act and its effects on low-income students but also attempting to find solutions for improving the act in order to help narrow the achievement gap. As of now we plan on finding a way to measure effectiveness through the education production function.
The name of my research topic is : The Effectiveness of the No Child Left Behind Act on Low Income and Minority Students. I chose to work with Dr. Morreale on this topic because it was through him that I had originally discovered about the importance of policies and its impact on institutions and it’s people. I have always been an analytical thinker and because of that I wanted to major in an area where my analytical thinking could be put to use. My goal and purpose for working on this project is to discover whether or not the No Child Left Behind Act has had a positive impact on minority students. I would like to learn if standardize testing has helped or hurt these specific group of students. If not, I would like to research other methods aside from the NCLB policies to discover what else can be done to help these group of students.
I plan on learning more about how policies impact students and their learning environment, what effects this has in a classroom how it can help or hurt a teacher and her lesson planning. I want to know more about how different policies effect low income and minority students to try and hopefully find some solutions that can help them in the future. I plan on using qualitative and quantitative methods, drawing on graphs, statistics and different case studies from different regions in the U.S. to see how the law was applied throughout various parts of the country.
I am currently working on the literature review for my topic. I am finding it hard not to approach the research with a biased, especially since many of the articles that are published on this topic are either bashing the NCLB Act or looking at ways improve it. Human capital has always been essential part of economic growth and because of that it is crucial that we develop ways to improve it through policies. Studies have also shown that one of the best ways to move up in the income ladder is through education. Many low income and minority students have a disadvantaged because of their background and living environments. Economists, educators and policy makers have constantly attempted to solve the problem of how to teach low income and minority students who already start school with a disadvantage. As I continue to do research on my topic, I am finding that standardized testing and teacher accountability has been a constant push from the Act’s part. However, this pressure to increase tests scores has created controversy and corruption. Rent seeking is inevitable, but it is damaging many students who are already at a disadvantage.
Again, I am trying to find some good ways in which the Act has helped better education in America but, it is difficult to find them. My goal is to look at all perspectives. I hope to finally use my findings and provide an unbiased solution to this dilemma. Any policy can be improved but it takes a real understanding of the problem to get there.