No Child Left Behind Act will affect multicultural education.
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The No Child Left Behind Act will provide unprecedented changes in the K-12 educational system that will allow all school age children to benefit from the various educational programs available. Children will be provided with a multicultural education that will improve the quality of education overall for children across the country.
On January 8, 2002, President Bush enacted the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, which was the most comprehensive educational reform act since 1965. The act redefines the federal government's role in K-12 education and will help close the performance gap that currently exists between disadvantaged and minority children and their peers.
The Act provides the framework for improving the performance of America's elementary and secondary schools while providing guidelines for ensuring that no child is trapped in a failing school that does not meet the stipulations of these resolutions.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, the act was based on four basic principles: stronger accountability for results, increased flexibility and local control, expanded options for parents and finally, an emphasis on teaching methods that have been proven to work.
The act will further strengthen Title I accountability and ensure that a statewide accountability system covers all public schools and all students.
The objective is to provide all students with the opportunity to reach proficiency within 12 years. The evaluation of results will be broken out by poverty level, race, ethnicity, disability and limited language proficiency to be sure that no one group is "left behind." Because the act provides for equal opportunities for all students, it is the perfect venue for implementing multicultural education programs.
Because the No Child Left Behind Act is designed to improve student achievement and change the culture of America's schools, areas that may have subsequently been ignored will now be addressed in the country's educational system and this includes the importance of multicultural education programs.
Many schools have recently developed multicultural education programs in conjunction with the No Child Left Behind Act to:
Make learning more interesting and reflective of student's lives
Provide students with the opportunity to share information about their heritage
Help them learn about the different cultures that make up their classroom and their country
Encourage respect for all cultures
Empower all students
The real goal of multicultural education is to promote social harmony and an understanding of our country's diverse cultures. The idea of the No Child Left Behind Act ties in very well with multicultural education programs because the goal of both is to implement strategies and programs that recognize the knowledge and skills of people from diverse backgrounds and cultures and how this can strengthen the skill base of the classroom, the community and the country.
There are essentially three types of multicultural education programs and all of them can easily be incorporated into the No Child Left Behind Act. A school may offer all or one of them and receive state and federal aid to implement them.
Programs Focusing on Information. These programs teach about different cultures by adding assignments to the standard curriculum to enrich students' comprehensive education.
Programs On How Students Learn. This program is key because it differentiates between schools, locations, curriculum and students performance. It specifically focuses on raising the achievement levels of students who are linguistically and culturally different, both of which are often minority students. The "left behind" act will assess schools across the country to be sure they are meeting the progressive objectives that have been set by the Act. In additional, the local educational agencies must allow low-income students to use supplement state and federal services that are selected by the school, the parents and the students.
Programs That Address Social Issues. These programs are designed to improve the cultural and political environment of the schools and this is highly supported by the resolutions provided in the Act. This program emphasizes human relations and tries to create an atmosphere of tolerance and learning. As with the Act, it supports using minority teachers and fosters a cooperative learning environment that helps students learn to work together as a team.
The Act has been a definite boost to multicultural programs. According to the Statement of Purpose of the Act, "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…