No Child Left Behind (NCLB)

The topics listed are informational areas and individual websites that can be accessed by members of The American Academy of Special Education Professionals (AASEP). If you are not a member of AASEP, and would like to join AASEP, click on the following link: Join AASEP to Register .

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The Law Itself

  • Text of the actual law as passed by congress - The purpose of this title is to ensure that all children have a fair, equal, and significant opportunity to obtain a high-quality education and reach, at a minimum, proficiency on challenging State academic achievement standards and state academic assessments.
  • Historical record of the law's passage - The search page for the 107th Congress, which passed the NCLB. If you enter "PL107-110" in the first box, labelled Bill, Amendment, or Public Law Number," and click on search, the results will be a mountain of links to aspects of this law's passage, including: a summary of the bills Congress considered along the way to passage, committee actions in the House, related House Committee documents and the conference report, amendments, how Congress voted, and---finally---a link to the text of the legislation.

Federal Regulations Implementing the Law

To see or download the regulations that guide implementation of the law passed by Congress, including an Appendix containing an "Analysis of Comments and Changes" to the draft regulations initially proposed:

  • The final rule for implementing Title I of the ESEA - The Secretary amends the regulations governing the programs administered under Title I, parts A, C, and D of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended (hereinafter referred to as the Title I programs.) These regulations are needed to implement recent changes to Title I of the ESEA made by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB Act).
  • Final regulations for the inclusion of students with the most significant cognitive disabilities in Title I assessments - The Secretary amends the regulations governing the programs administered under title I, part A, of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA). These regulations are needed to implement statutory provisions regarding State, local educational agency (LEA), and school accountability for the academic achievement of students with the most significant cognitive disabilities and are needed to implement changes to title I of the ESEA made by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB Act).

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Short Summaries

  • NCLB at a glance - There are 9 titles within the NCLB, starting with the well-known Title I. They are all described in full detail here.
  • Key points of NCLB - At the link above, you'll find two useful summaries from The Education Trust. On the right menu, you can choose the 12-page NCLB User Guide or the NCLB Fact Sheets. The fact sheets address different topics within NCLB in one-page summaries, answering the same three questions each time: What does NCLB have to say? Why is this important? and What can I do? The topics are: Standards, Assessments, Public Reporting, Using and Collecting Data, Accountability, Adequate Yearly Progress, Schools in Improvement, Teacher Quality, High Quality Curriculum, Parents' Right to Know, Parent Involvement, Students with Limited English Proficiency, School Choice, and Supplemental Services.
  • Highlights from NCREL, the North Central Regional Educational Lab - States must adopt (or have) challenging academic content standards and student academic achievement standards in reading and mathematics. States also must adopt science standards by the 2005-06 school year and then begin testing in the 2007-08 school year once in each grade span of Grades 3-5, 6-9, and 10-12. States can change their state standards without first obtaining approval from the federal government...
  • A summary for principals - As principals begin to deal with the implications of this landmark education law, they are looking for answers, advice, and pointers. The the K-12 Principals Guide to No Child Left Behind will introduce you to the key provisions of the law and what these provisions will mean to you as an Instructional leader.
  • A summary for parents - With passage of No Child Left Behind, Congress reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)--the principal federal law affecting education from kindergarten through high school. In amending ESEA, the new law represents a sweeping overhaul of federal efforts to support elementary and secondary education in the United States. It is built on four common-sense pillars: accountability for results; an emphasis on doing what works based on scientific research; expanded parental options; and expanded local control and flexibility.
  • Another summary for parents - A lot of people in the school community—parents, teachers, administrators and even students—have numerous questions about the new education law the Bush Administration has championed.This booklet attempts to answer in plain English some of the most frequently asked questions posed by parents. We hope it helps clarify a very confusing and challenging law.
  • Detailed glossary on NCLB
  • A Primer on NCLB - PDF File.  From the National Governors Association's Center for Best Practices.  States have been working for more than a decade to implement standards-based reform, and NCLB can be a tool to further state education goals. To help governors leverage NCLB to meet the education goals they have set for their state, this publication summarizes key provisions of the federal law, shares examples of promising state education reform practices, and provides information on federal funding opportunities for NCLB requirements.
  • Facts Every Parent Should Know About the No Child Left Behind Act - President Bush made a commitment to ensure that all children receive a high quality education so that no child is left behind. And just one year after the President first took office, the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) passed overwhelmingly with support from Republicans and Democrats in Congress. NCLB has led to higher standards and greater accountability throughout the Nation's school systems.  This document can also be read in spanish.

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More Detailed Information

  • The offical No Child Left Behind site at the U.S. Department of Education - No Child Left Behind is designed to change the culture of America's schools by closing the achievement gap, offering more flexibility, giving parents more options, and teaching students based on what works.
  • 2002 NCLB Desktop Reference - From the US Department of Education.  The NCLB Act puts a special emphasis on determining what educational programs and practices have been clearly demonstrated to be effective through rigorous scientific research. Federal funding will be targeted to support these programs and teaching methods that improve student learning and achievement.
  • Nonregulatory guidance issued by the Department of Education to help with implementation of the law - Choose "NCLB Policy Guidance and OMB Circulars" and then "Policy Guidance for Programs Implemented under NCLB." This will lead you to the guidances the Department has issued to date, which are intended to assist stakeholders in implementing NCLB's requirements. To give you an idea of what's currently online: Supplemental Educational Services Guidance (August 2003); Report Cards Guidance (September 2003); LEA and School Improvement Guidance (January 2004); Public School Choice Draft Guidance (February 2004)...
  • Two major NCLB issues: Annual Yearly Progress and Teacher Quality - The link above will lead you to the Education Trust. Use the right choice menu to find out more information about the topics of Annual Yearly Progress and Teacher Quality.
  • Choose your issue to explore - The Education Commission of the United States offers a virtual ton of information and analysis on NCLB.  NCLB is an ambitious law and forces states to move faster and further to improve the achievement of every student. Perhaps the combination of NCLB’s tight timelines and high expectations and existing state education agendas will prove successful where past reform efforts have fallen short.
  • Choose your issue from topics organized A-Z - You can jump to all sorts of resources on NCLB topics, as covered by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • The National Governors Association offers extensive summaries and analysis - NGA offers links to promising state policies regarding NCLB implementation; summaries of the Department's guidance, regulations, and policy letters; and reports, issue briefs, meeting summaries, and other online documents.
  • Government Policies - Education Issues 2005 - From The Educational Testing Service (ETS).  In enacting this landmark legislation, the Congress and the president acted with both passion and pragmatism. There has been bipartisan support to make the law a reality in every classroom in America. Real progress is being made across the nation as we continue to improve teaching and learning for every child. We are on the road to fulfilling the promise of the No Child Left Behind Act, but much work remains.
  • Take advantage of the work done by the AASA - The American Association of School Administrators (AASA) offers us the benefit of their work on NCLB. Visit their Web site and find useful tools, resources, and best practices, as well as articles and organizations, to better implement the provisions of this law.  In general, AASA believes that NCLB is an unwise federal usurpation of state authority regarding the operation of local school districts. The federal intrusion was unwarranted because states were making steady progress in transforming schools to accomplish the new mission of universal proficiency and the federal government does not have the capacity to fund the new authority it has assumed.
  • Advocacy and the NCLB - Wrightslaw offers an advocacy book, Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind. Order the book by calling 1.877.529.4332, or online at the link above.
  • Extensive resources from the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) - The American Federation of Teachers has long been a leader in promoting high standards of learning and teaching and is working actively to close the achievement gap. When the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) became law in 2002, the AFT hoped that the resources earmarked for NCLB would be provided and that the law would be implemented in a way that would strengthen public education while raising the academic achievement of all students.
  • Recruiting and retaining high quality teachers in rural areas - In 2003 the Rural School and Community Trust analyzed data from a variety of sources and concluded that many states have a critical need for specific policy attention to rural education. The report draws attention to 13 states, in particular, where this need is deemed most urgent and important.
  • The 21st Century Community Learning Centers - The 21st CCLC Program is a component of NCLB, re-authorized under Title IV, Part B, of the Act. The focus of this program is to provide expanded academic enrichment opportunities for children attending low performing schools. Tutorial services and academic enrichment activities are provided, as well as youth development activities, drug and violence prevention programs, technology education programs, art, music and recreation programs, counseling and character education.  You can also search the 21st CCLC Grantees Database.
  • Choosing to change schools - One of the parental options included in NCLB is school choice when their child’s current school isn’t performing adequately. Based on research, Critical Issue: NCLB Option—Choosing to Change Schools offers help in considering changing schools. Learn about the importance of professional quality, class size, parent-school partnerships, and choice of reading programs. The report, a publication of the North Central Regional Education Laboratory (NCREL), also includes resources to contact for more information.

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What's Title I?

Title I provides billions of dollars in financial assistance to schools educating low-income students. Currently, about half (55 percent) of public schools receive funds under Title I. A part of ESEA and now amended by NCLB, Title I's official name is "Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged." Here are some links to information about this very important part of the legislation.

  • A summary for parents that talks clearly about Title I - The United Federation of Teachers in New York City offers What Parents Needs to Know about NCLB/Title I.  A lot of people in the school community—parents, teachers, administrators and even students—have numerous questions about the new education law the Bush Administration has championed.This booklet attempts to answer in plain English some of the most frequently asked questions posed by parents. We hope it helps clarify a very confusing and challenging law.
  • Another quick summary of Title I - Title I of the No Child Left Behind Act is the largest federally funded program for elementary and secondary schools. Its purpose is to provide federal funds to schools with high concentrations of children living in poverty that are not achieving academically well. NCLB strengthens Title accountability by requiring States to implement statewide accountability systems covering all public schools and students.
  • Is my school a Title I school? - A Title I school receives government funding and must follow NCLB requirements. Find out if your school is a Title I school. At the link above, enter your school's name and address, and search. The results will include "School Characteristics," one of which will be "Title I School" yes or no.

Fee-based info

  • Title I Monitor - Available at $277 a year from the Thompson Publishing Group. includes an email alert service and unlimited online access to a database of archived issues.  Free features on the Web site include a News Desk about Title I happenings and selected Federal resources.
  • Title I Report - Another wealth of info you'll have to pay for. Cost? To quote, "A subscription to the Title I Report, which includes full access to [the] Website, costs only $239 a year or $429 for two years. Website-only subscriptions are discounted, and some additional discounts are available for members of partner associations or organizations that buy multiple subscriptions."

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NCLB and Children with Special Needs

How does NCLB affect children with special needs? This is an area of great concern to the disability community. The following resources will help you find out more about what the NCLB means for children with disabilities and the school systems who educate them:

  • A Parent's Guide to No Child Left Behind - No Child Left Behind (NCLB) covers all states, school districts, and schools that accept Title 1 federal grants. Title 1 grants provide funding for remedial education programs for poor and disadvantaged children in public schools, and in some private programs. NCLB applies differently to Title 1 schools than to schools that do not receive Title 1 grants. However, one way or another, this law covers all public schools in all states.
  • No Child Left Behind Act of 2001: A Technical Assistance Resource - PDF File.  The Council for Exceptional Children has engaged in a detailed review of the information available on the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (P.L. 107-110). Because of the importance of this legislation, we have prepared this comprehensive set of resources concerning the law, and its implications for the special education field.
  • No Child Left Behind: What's in it for Parents? - PDF file.  No Child Left Behind: What’s in It for Parents, a new report from Parent Leadership Associates, identifies six key leverage points for parents. At each point, schools and districts must respond to parents’ priorities and concerns. Knowing where these are and how to use them will be critical to building strong parent involvement and a more effective Title I program.
  • No Child Left Behind Act of 2001: Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act - The Council for Exceptional Children has engaged in a detailed review of the information available on the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (P.L. 107-110).  Because of the importance of this legislation, we have prepared this comprehensive set of resources concerning the law, and its implications for the special education field.
  • Implications for Special Education Policy and Practice: Selected Sections of Title I and Title II - The “academic content standards” under this law will also require continuing examination (probably state by state) as these standards intersect with the “general curriculum” stipulations of the IDEA, Sec. 614(d). Note that the law addresses all public elementary and secondary school children, thus clearly including all children receiving the support of special education.
  • Accountability for Assessment Results in NCLB: What It Means for Children with Disabilities - The No Child Left Behind Act contains four basic education reform principles – stronger accountability for results, increased flexibility and local control, expanded options for parents, and an emphasis on teaching methods that have been proven to work. The accountability for results principle has the potential to significantly improve the educational results demonstrated by all children with disabilities. The purpose of this document is to clearly describe what the accountability provisions are and how they affect children with disabilities.
  • Assessing students with disabilities under IDEA and NCLB - Since the 1997 reauthorization of IDEA, the nation's main special education law, much has changed in how the United States holds schools accountable. As IDEA undergoes its next reauthorization this year, the implications of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) will be an important consideration.
  • No Child Left Behind and Students with Learning Disabilities - The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), signed into law by President Bush in January of 2002, challenges states and school districts to intensify their efforts to improve the academic achievement of the nation’s traditionally at-risk groups of public school students. NCLB’s new provisions for assessment and accountability are designed to focus increased levels of attention on underperforming groups of students and begin to close the achievement gap.

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Training Materials

  • PowerPoint slides from the Education Trust - This PowerPoint presentation, presented at the Education Trust's annual conference, can serve as a tool to talk about the major provisions of NCLB with a particular emphasis on the new requirements in Title I. From the link above, use the right menu to select "No Child Left Behind Overview of Annual Conference."  From there you will find a link to the powerpoint slides.
  • Slides from Learning Point Associates - To ensure that all children have a fair, equal, and significant opportunity to obtain a high-quality education and, at a minimum, reach proficiency on challenging state academic achievement standards and state academic assessments.
  • Implementing Adequate Yearly Progress in State Accountability Systems - The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) has a number of Power Point presentations about NCLB online regarding implementing adequate yearly progress in state accountability systems.  Over 30 states along with American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands, and the Department of Defense Education Activity attended the CCSSO workshop on Implementing AYP in State Accountability Systems in St. Louis, MO September 11-12, 2003. This workshop helped state education agency staff understand technical considerations in determining Adequate Yearly Progress, consider the implications of choosing one technical approach over another, and identify potential improvements to their state accountability systems' models for AYP, with particular attention paid to the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act.
  • Specific focus: NCLB and the Assessment of Students with Disabilities - The National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO) offers three Power Point presentations specific to NCLB and assessing students with disabilities. These are entitled: (1) NCLB Implications for Assessment and Accountability for Students with Disabilities, (2) No Child Left Behind: Considerations for the Assessment of Students with Disabilities, and (3) Civil Rights, No Child Left Behind, Assessments, Accountability, and Students with Disabilities.
  • NCLB Action Guide - The Public Education Network (PEN) offers Using NCLB to Improve Student Achievement: An Action Guide for Community and Parent Leaders, an 80-page guide on how to use NCLB to advocate for improved public education.

Slides from the Student Achievement and School Accountability Conference of the US Department of Education

  • State Accountability Systems
  • Accountability and Annual Yearly Progress
  • Strategies for Making Adequate Yearly Progress, Using Curriculum Based-Measurement for Progress Monitoring
  • Evidence-Based Education
  • New Flexibility Provisions under NCLB
  • Highly Qualified Teachers & Paraprofessionals
  • Strategies for Improving Teacher Quality
  • Mathematics and Science Partnerships: Scientifically Based Research in Mathematics
  • Highly Qualified Paraprofessionals
  • Providing Title I Services to Eligible Private School Children
  • Research-Based Instruction in Reading
  • Choice Provisions in NCLB

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How's Your State Doing?

  • Who's Who in your state - Use the map to choose a state and find out who to contact about NCLB, education matters in general, and disability-related issues (hey! they link to NICHCY, so you'll end up back here!). Also find state profiles presenting key data about each state's student and school population and its testing history and results under National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
  • Want specific NCLB information on your state - The Education Commission of the States (ECS) offers the above Web site, which is a one-stop shop for learning the day-to-day status of how state policies match up with NCLB requirements.
  • NCLB Action Briefs - NCLB Action Briefs, a project of Public Education Network (PEN) and the National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education (NCPIE), are designed to keep community and parent leaders up to date on various provisions of NCLB. The action briefs are written in easy-to-use language focused on specific sections of the law and include pertinent regulations, a glossary of terms, action steps, and additional resources.
  • AFT's Making Standards Matter - PDF file.  The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) offers a state-by-state analysis of state efforts to implement a standards-based system.  Standards, testing, and accountability are the watchwords of any public figure who speaks responsibly about education today. But, as Making Standards Matter 2001, the American Federation of Teachers’ sixth report on state efforts to institute a standards-based education system, indicates, the standards reform movement could be in trouble without mid-course corrections. In particular, states must do more in regard to developing curriculum to support their standards, using high-quality tests, aligning the tests they administer to state standards, and providing additional funds to assist students who are failing to meet the standards.
  • Check out your state's Accountability Workbook and Consolidated Plan - At the beginning of 2003, each state submitted to the U.S. Department of Education a "Consolidated State Application Accountability Workbook." In the workbook, each state indicated their progress toward 31 critical elements in 10 categories and wrote a narrative outlining the state’s activities.  You can also see the final approved state plans.
  • NCLB resources from CCSSO - A page of state-level resource information, where you can investigate: North Carolina's Plan to communicate about NCLB with various audiences; state report cards on various SEA Web sites; and state press releases and news coverage (for Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming).
  • Try the School Information Partnership - Here, you can find out the school, district, and state information required to be publicly reported under NCLB. State snapshots are also available.
  • The School Evaluation Services (SES) database - Use Standard and Poor's (S&P) database to view academic, financial, and socioeconomic indicators, benchmark comparisons and trends. Also read S&P’s written reports on your district’s strengths and challenges.
  • Reflections on implementation: Two years and counting - This October 2003 InfoBrief from the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) takes a national look at our progress under NCLB.

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Keeping Up with NCLB

  • Sign up for NCLB action briefs - The Public Education Network (PEN) and the National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education (NCPIE) offer an email service to keep you on top of NCLB action.
  • Webcasts for parents - The Department of Education offers Education News Parents Can Use, a Web cast series about ways to ensure children's educational success. Learn more about the program, view previous Webcasts, see what's on the schedule for this year.
  • Sign up for a Title I Part A listserv - The titleilocals listserv is a free service offered by OESE's Student Achievement and School Accountability Programs. The information that subscribers to the "LEAtitleIdirector" listserv receive is intended to help them administer their programs and learn about new information regarding Title I Part A.  And a wealth of information about Title 1 is available for a few $$.  See above, under "What's Title I?" for two Title 1 services that keep administrators informed: the Title I Monitor and the Title I Report.
  • Try the TitleIOnline News Desks - Free from Thomas
  • Want the latest in education news - For a fee, Education Week provides articles and information on NCLB.

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