The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act is a government bill

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The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act is a government bill introduced by Congress and signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2002. (Newell, Prindle, & Riddlesperger, 2012). The legislation includes the primary and secondary education programs, which have made the American education system noncompetitive on a global scale. Furthermore, the NCLB bill grants the federal government a broader obligation to keep schools accountable for the academic achievement of all American students. Again, the law ensured that the states and the schools are involved in improving the performance of some groups of students, especially those with special needs, from low-income families, and English language learners (Smith, 2015). Although some states did not welcome the new law, they risked obtaining the federal money to support the education system. This paper seeks to give ways in which federalism is being used in the context of law and what relationship exists between the federal and state government regarding the NCLB law.

The No Child Left Behind law reflects federalism in action. President Bush and Congress experienced great success in passing the law. However, there were challenges in ensuring the administrative procedures and the components of the law. The law failed to provide the provisions whether its parts created any sense of spurred innovation and urgency. The standards required to refurbish the education and the accountability of the administration parties became the driving force to the passing of the law (Smith, 2015). The United States education has remained a Democratic Party forte, and thus, it had been taken to the hands of the Republicans. The last administration procedures were designed in such a way that it increased the spending of the federal funding. The state independence and the flexibility of the law became secondary priorities. The NCLB education law can be considered as an interventionist federal education policy. President Bush remained following the Republican idealism with some compromise so as to allow the law to work under the umbrella of his administration. His personal choice was evident in the document. For instance, when the schools were deemed to have the need to be improved, the students were allowed to make a choice of changing their schools. Additionally, results and accountability were other components of the law that standardized the scores in aid of examining the progress in correlation to the use of the federal dollars (Newell, Prindle, & Riddlesperger, 2012). The components of the law led to a controversy of the law and confirmed that the State needed many resources to administer the law.

The NCLB law complicated the State’s and the federal mandates as pertains the legislation. However, President Bush remained simple in his idea that the State has to comply with the federal mandates to make necessary changes to the bill and work to ensure that every child in Texas is receiving a quality education. The concerned parties were supposed to remain faithful to the President, and his purpose of increasing the federal funds would make the State to respond positively to these requirements (Smith, 2015). The schools would be rewarded for the loyal and obedient behavior to the law. The law brought a lot of conflict between the two governments, and the State began speaking out against the Federal government. The conflict raised questions on the funding mechanisms and the spending priorities of the American education. The struggle between the state and the federal powers remained a significant challenge in administering the law leading to the inability of the State to get their problems being heard and addressed by the Federal government (Newell, Prindle, & Riddlesperger, 2012).

The federal government played the minor roles in education and was not responsible for the issuing the education policy until the 1960s. It was in charge in ensuring equal access to education and safeguarding the teachers' and the students' constitutional rights. Despite education being not part of the constitutional rights, the students need to be protected against racial, religious, and gender discrimination. On the other hand, the State government played a role in maintaining and operating the public schools. The State was responsible for the establishment, selection, and the regulation of the education curriculum. The State was supposed to design the teaching materials and the necessary requirements for a quality education system. The State legislation also ensured that the students met the mandatory requirements for them to graduate (Newell, Prindle, & Riddlesperger, 2012). Despite the two entities having different responsibilities in ensuring the administration of the NCLB program, there is a need for the State and Federal government to work together to execute the program successfully. For example, they have to cooperate in ensuring the accountability and the proper utilization of the federal funds released for the running of the program. The NCLB program is made for the wellbeing of all the children in the US, and thus, there should be good will from the Federal and State governments to ensure that the provisions of the legislation are attained (Smith, 2015). The two entities should work to solve the conflicts that may hinder them from performing their duties as mandated by the Constitution.

Besides, there are points of friction and frustrations between the Federal and the State government, especially on the accountability standards. The federalization of the standards has increased the extent and scope of the friction. The NCLB law applies to all the American students in all the schools without the need to consider the qualification, government interventions, and the consequences for their failure. The result of the required accountability puts the Federal government into the task of daily operations and monitoring of the public education. The conflict has damaged the relationships between the two parties. Most states are hesitant to implement the program giving evidence that NCLB program has faced opposition in every State (Newell, Prindle, & Riddlesperger, 2012). The conflict has created adversity and strained relationship between the Federal and the State government leading to a damaged relation over the issue of education in America.

Despite the conflict and frustration between the two governments, the NCLB program is working as it was designed and thus it is decreasing the friction between the two entities as it continues to achieve the goals. For instance, the accountability provisions provided in the law have led to the access of information that is needed by the students and parents in focusing their attention on the resources needed by their children in getting a quality education (Newell, Prindle, & Riddlesperger, 2012). The program is empowering the students as well as the parents and supporting the teachers in performing their duties as required by the education bodies. The program has strengthened the schools so as to ensure that every child is learning. The parents are given information about the provisions of their children such as free tutoring and funding for the education. The teachers can utilize the assessment data and use scientifically proven teaching methods so as to improve their classroom skills (Smith, 2015). The positive achievements of the program have led to the decreased friction between the federal and the state governments.

The No Child Left Behind program has improved the education system in America by empowering the students, teachers, and the parents. The law was initially faced with challenging situations, especially with the accountability provisions of the bill; however, as the program continues to achieve the intended goals, the friction is decreasing between the two entities. The adoption of the program has been a great advantage to the American education.


Newell, C., Prindle, D. F., & Riddlesperger, J. W. (2012). Texas Politics. Canada: Wadsworth Cengage Learning Centre.

Smith, M. (2015). Texas gets federal No Child Left behind Waiver, with a caveat. The Texas Tribune. Retrieved from

December 15, 2021

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