Review of the No Child Left Behind Act (2001)

Family Impact Analysis

Principle 1: Family Support and Responsibilities

Does the No Child Left Behind Act (2001) support and supplement parents’ and other family members’ ability to carry out their responsibilities? The NCLB Act provides for various family supports in education. The Act provides education funding to state and local educational agencies for implementing education reform programs and school improvement programs (NCLB, 2001, § 5101). Such funding supplements the input of families in funding the education of their children. Additionally, the Act provides grants to educational agencies to set up and expand counseling programs in schools, both at elementary and secondary levels (NCLB, 2001, § 5421). Accordingly, such support lowers the burden that families have in counseling and providing psychological support for their children. Moreover, under section 5451, the Act provides for a book distribution program that seeks to motivate students to read (NCLB, 2001). In this regard, the Act supplements families’ role of ensuring their children have the necessary books for their education.

Principle 2: Family Membership and Stability

Does the No Child Left Behind Act (2001) recognize that major changes in the family relationships such as divorce or adoption affect children’s educational outcomes? The Act provides a grant to support programs and activities aimed at assisting children who have been victims of domestic violence in dealing with their predicament. Specifically, the Act provides grants for the employment of experts in domestic violence in schools and training of school administrators, teachers and other staff in domestic violence (NCLB, 2001, § 5571).

Does the No Child Left Behind Act (2001) recognize the role of culture in fostering family unity and educational outcomes? The Act provides special grants for enhancing culturally-based education and cultural exchange programs to enable natives of Alaska, Hawaii, and Massachusetts who are linked by traditions and history to learn about their shared traditions and cultural practices (NCLB, 2001, § 5522). Such support will foster re-establishment of good relationships that encourage development of educational and career opportunities among the three regions.

Principle 3: Family Involvement and Interdependence

Does the No Child Left Behind Act (2001) recognize the complexity and responsibilities involved in caring for family members with special needs? The Act recognizes the complexities and responsibilities of families in taking care of children with special needs. Section 5472 provides a Star Schools Program that specifically targets student with special needs. These include; students from disadvantaged families, students with physical disabilities, illiterate students and those with limited English proficiency (NCLB, 2001, § 5472).

Principle 4: Family Partnership and Empowerment

Does the No Child Left Behind Act (2001) recognize the role of family and parental involvement in the development, implementation and evaluation of educational policies and programs? Subpart 16 of the Act purposes to enhance partnerships among various stakeholders in the education sector including parents, administrators, principals, and teachers to enhance educational outcomes for the children (NCLB, 2001, § 5561). Additionally, section 5561 seeks to enhance the relationship that parents have with their children’s schools (NCLB, 2001, § 5561). Further, the Act provides necessary support, including financial, leadership and technical assistance, to local education and non-profit organizations to empower them to implement policies that improve parental involvement in education effectively (NCLB, 2001, § 5561). Such support ultimately boosts the academic achievement of the students.

Principle 5: Family Diversity

Does the No Child Left Behind Act (2001) affect various types of families? The Act recognizes and provides for the special needs that arise from differences in cultures such as Indians and natives of Alaska, Hawaii and Massachusetts (NCLB, 2001, § 701, 7101, 7102). It also provides grants to students from various family backgrounds including children with disabilities, children from rural and poor families, and children from disadvantaged families (NCLB, 2001, § 5472). The Act in section 6202 addresses special needs of schools and students in rural areas where limited personnel and resources impede effective learning (NCLB, 2001). Additionally, it ensures and enhances gender equity in education and specifically promotes the education of girls who face discrimination due to ethnicity, age, disability, limited English proficiency and sex (NCLB, 2001, § 5612).

Principle 6: Support of Vulnerable Families

            Does the No Child Left Behind Act (2001) identify and publically support services for families in the most extreme economic or social need? Under the subpart 7 (Star Schools Act), the Act aims to serve underprivileged populations such as the illiterate, people with limited proficiency in English, disadvantaged groups and people with various disabilities. This support includes development, maintenance and operation of telecommunications facilities and equipment, provision of instructional and educational programming, and providing necessary technical support in using the facilities and programs (NCLB, 2001, § 5472). Section 5612 of the Act also promotes equity in education for girls who are vulnerable to discrimination on the basis of their age, ethnicity, disability and sexual orientation (NCLB, 2001, § 5612). Such provisions, ensure children from vulnerable families access equal educational opportunities as those from well-off families.

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