No Child Left Behind Act

Education news, analysis, and opinion about the version of the Elementary and Secondary Schools Act in place from 2002 to 2015. It was replaced by the Every Student Succeeds Act.

Explainer

No Child Left Behind: An Overview
A primer on the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. Its successor, the Every Student Succeeds Act, replaced NCLB in Dec. 2015.
Conceptual illustration
Adolfo Valle for Education Week
Equity & Diversity Reported Essay When Did Equity Become a 'Trigger' Word?
Education equity may be inscribed in federal law, but that doesn't mean everyone agrees on what it means.
Stephen Sawchuk, September 6, 2022
12 min read
Equity & Diversity Video For Decades, Our Nation Supported Equity. Now, We’re Divided Over It
Federal law makes it clear that all public school students should reach a basic level of academic mastery, so what are we arguing about?
Stephen Sawchuk, September 6, 2022
2:49
President George W. Bush, left, participates in the swearing-in ceremony for the Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, center, at the U.S. Dept. of Education on Jan. 31, 2005 in Washington. On the far right holding a bible is her husband Robert Spellings.
President George W. Bush, left, participates in the swearing-in ceremony for the Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, center, at the U.S. Dept. of Education on Jan. 31, 2005 in Washington. On the far right holding a bible is her husband Robert Spellings.
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
Accountability Timeline: How Federal School Accountability Has Waxed and Waned
From its origins in the 1990s to the most-recent tack, see how the federal approach to accountability has shifted.
Stephen Sawchuk, May 11, 2022
4 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Accountability Opinion What Next-Gen Accountability Can Learn From No Child Left Behind
As we ponder what's next for accountability and assessment, we’d benefit from checking the rearview mirror more attentively and more often.
Rick Hess, August 11, 2021
4 min read
Federal Bernie Sanders' Record on Testing and No Child Left Behind: A Brief History
The Democratic presidential candidate likes to highlight his vote against the No Child Left Behind Act in 2001, although his record on the issue of high-stakes standardized testing isn't black and white.
Andrew Ujifusa, February 26, 2020
6 min read
Joe Biden, former vice president and newly announced candidate for president in 2020, speaks at a rally for striking grocery workers in Boston last month.
Joe Biden, former vice president and newly announced candidate for president in 2020, speaks at a rally for striking grocery workers in Boston last month.
Michael Dwyer/AP
Federal Presidential Candidate Joe Biden Has K-12 Record as Senator, VP
Joe Biden has more history with K-12 education policy than any of the other current presidential candidates; but it's not all good history.
Andrew Ujifusa, April 30, 2019
2 min read
School Choice & Charters Opinion David Osborne on Reinventing Government (of Schools)
In discussing a recent book on remaking U.S. schools by David Osborne, Marc Tucker explores how his own views on school choice, competition and accountability have evolved over the years.
Marc Tucker, October 25, 2018
10 min read
Reading & Literacy Opinion Are the Reading Wars 'Settled Science'?
I certainly hope there's never a rigid, unchanging agreement on the One Best Way to teach people of any age to read. All scholarly disciplines should undergo regular re-assessment, as research reshapes knowledge. There are still classrooms in the United States, after all, where evolution is not settled science.
Nancy Flanagan, May 2, 2018
3 min read
Federal News in Brief A Believer Still, Bush Stands Tall On NCLB Law
The federal law he championed has been replaced by a measure touted as more flexible and fairer to schools, but former President George W. Bush sees clear reasons to stand up for the No Child Left Behind Act.
Sean Cavanagh, April 23, 2018
1 min read
Federal Remembering Former First Lady Barbara Bush, an Advocate for Literacy
As the wife of former President George H.W. Bush, she used the bully pulpit of her office as first lady to advance the issue on behalf of both for children and parents.
Alyson Klein, April 18, 2018
2 min read
Every Student Succeeds Act States Adjust Course on School Turnaround Districts
The new school year brings changes for states that are starting—or, in at least one case, dropping—state-directed efforts to improve some of their lowest-performing schools.
Daarel Burnette II, September 5, 2017
6 min read
Every Student Succeeds Act Are States Leaning on Waivers From Past Law for Their New Education Plans?
States aren't necessarily keen to toss overboard what they put in their waivers from the No Child Left Behind Act when crafting their direction under the Every Student Succeeds Act.
Andrew Ujifusa, July 5, 2017
3 min read
Every Student Succeeds Act States Struggle to Define 'Ineffective Teachers' Under ESSA
The Every Student Succeeds Act has reignited battles over how to determine which teachers fall short and whether state or local leaders should make those decisions.
Daarel Burnette II, May 30, 2017
6 min read
School & District Management School Closures: What Do They Mean for Students and Communities?
Only 8 percent of all schools closed were replaced with new schools that served the same grades, finds a new Urban Institute study.
Sarah D. Sparks, March 27, 2017
2 min read