The federal government drafted the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) to promote equality amongst disabled children. The Act provides that all children with disabilities should receive equal opportunities, economic self sufficiency, independent living, and full participation (Boon & Alissa, 2011). Processed in 1975, and edited in 2004, the Act aims in curtailing educational constraints associated with insufficient focus and low expectation on alternative research. This includes teaching techniques and tools. IDEA comprises of 6 principles that focus on the student's welfare under the federal constitution. It highlights the responsibilities of public schools to disabled students. The fundamental principles of IDEA are free appropriate public education, appropriate evaluation, personalized education plan, least restrictive surrounding, parent participation, and procedural safeguards. This paper investigates the nature and form of two educational Acts passed by the federal government and seeks to determine their success rate.
The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) is another inclusive federal inventiveness designed to improve the educational standard of all students (Theall, Bruff, & Gross, 2012). The NCLB Act represents a fundamental expansion of the role of the federal government in the education sector. It is a re-authorization of Elementary and Secondary Education Acts. The Act mandates conformity to quality standards and sanctions schools and states that do not honor the set criteria. In addition, NCLB offers financial assistance to states and schools with the objective of establishing standards and improving the achievements of students. President Bush signed the Act into Law on Jan 8, 2002 to spearhead reforms and contain the changes to past education Acts. It transforms the role of the government in the education sector, placing much focus on school success as determined by student achievement. The four major principles in the Act include augmented flexibility as well as local control, stronger responsibility for results, expanded alternatives for parents, and concentration on tested teaching techniques (Duncan, 2011).
Immediately after the passing of IDEA Act its impact has been great and it continues to be felt in every school and district, in America. Nevertheless, the passing of the NCLB act in 2001 overshadowed its effect. The Act presented the most sweeping reform ever effected in the sector and seeks to close the gap between the poor students and their peers. Both IDEA and NCLB comprise of stipulated expectations and requirements for states and schools. Two bodies, namely the National Education Association (NEA) and the National Association of State Directors (NASDSE), have collaborated to oversee the integration of the two Acts to offer guidance to schools and state leaders in the course of the implementation process (Riddel, Tanklin, & Vilston, 2004).
Fundamental differences feature in the two education Acts passed by the federal government. The differences range from functional to the nature of the laws. To start with, NCLB has an immediate influence because of, its precise nature, unlike other past versions. It focuses on measuring accountability and Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). The specific variables of importance are Paraeducator quality, school choice, and teacher quality. The Act is unique because its impact extends to both teachers and schools and not schools only. The Act is unique in nature and form because of its inclusiveness (Riddel, Tanklin, & Vilston, 2004). This means that it involves all schools and educational programs in America regardless of the physical and mental state of students, unlike the IDEA Act that offers special provisions for the disabled student.
IDEA and NCLB are similar in that both focus on improving the quality of performance of students and the education sector at large. Functional similarities feature in the principle of accountability of the two Acts. The NCLB Act holds accountable students who do not meet the set standards. On the other hand, IDEA carries out an annual statewide assessment program in all schools. The tests exempt no student. Other similar trends could be observed in teaching techniques that both Acts favor. NCLB forwards a research-based practice, where immediate prominence reflects in initiatives and programs that involve math and research-based reading. On the other hand, IDEA also champions for a research-based system based on recent information. The Act also directs that instructors apply promising teaching techniques (Riddel, Tanklin, & Vilston, 2004).
The quest for procedural safeguards and appropriate evaluation of the IDEA Act complement the quest for stronger accountability for results and that of effective and efficient methods. Both Acts push for a teaching practice that yield quality results. The alternate assessments undertaken through the IDEA act complements the quest for accountability in the NCLB Act with respect to the end result. The Laws provide funding aimed at boosting the standards of education, through the upgrade of techniques, tools, and programs. The two Acts have complemented each other in form, where IDEA seems to establish the mandate of the education curriculum and the NCLB Act enhances the influence. For instance, IDEA provides that every disabled child should fully participate in the education curriculum. NCLB act comes in to specify that every child should receive ample access to the education curriculum (Duncan, 2011). The right for access to the education curriculum consists of 3 corresponding stages. This includes access, progress, and involvement. The first stage provides an entry point for the student. The second stage presents a process of continual involvement by the student in the education curriculum. The third stage offers an evaluative measure that provides feedback into the initial stages of involvement and access.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act secures special education services for students with disabilities from childhood up to graduation. The purpose of the Law focused on influencing the mode and implementation of special education and other services for disabled children. The overall objective of the Act strives at meeting the special needs of disabled children and prepare them for the life ahead in terms of employment, further education, and independent living (Duncan, 2011). The requirements of the Act, more specifically, the appropriate evaluations are not fair to the disabled students. The Act provides that the disabled children should be offered tests based on their own grading level. This contradicts the provisions of the IDEA Act that directs that students be taught as per their own ability. For instance, a student whose reading level is beyond his grade should complete an exam above his ability.
The principles of appropriate evaluation procedures and the routine procedural safeguards have resulted in enhanced practices, which have addressed issues of national concern (Riddel, Tanklin, & Vilston, 2004). The procedural safeguards have empowered Academic centers with superior teaching methods and tools. Through this, children with disabilities are able to read and digest complex draft compositions and texts that clearly express their thoughts. In addition, their problem solving and arithmetic abilities have reflected the abilities of physically fit students (Theall, Bruff, & Gross, 2012).
The NCLB Act has helped schools realize structural changes meant to make the education curriculum effective and result oriented. The emphasis placed on teaching methods by the Law has created the necessity for highly qualified instructors. This permits more goal-oriented teachers to improve support in the course of teaching. The landmark Act has made schools more accountable, empowered parents, and helped to narrow the achievement gap in schools. This phenomena have taken effect through the adaptation of the principle of accountability (Duncan, 2011).
Enhancing the efficacy of the two educational Acts represent an effort to improve the educational performance students (this also include the disabled children). The educational landscape, particularly for the disabled, has undergone vast changes in the recent past. Thanks to science and research, the sector continues to receive a transformation aimed at improving the quality of performance of the sector. The first recommendation on the application of the Acts is for policy makers and other stakeholders to determine practically the impact of the two Acts in improving the quality…