By Rosa A. Smith

Hailed as revolutionary legislation, the “No Child Left Behind” Act of 2001 has created great expectations. This landmark overhaul of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act—legislation that includes Title I, the federal government’s premier aid program for disadvantaged students—seeks “to ensure that all children have a fair, equal, and significant opportunity to obtain a high-quality education.”

“Education is a national priority, and for the first time federal policies will focus squarely on improving student achievement,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige in January 2002, when the bill was signed into law. “For too long, many of our schools did a good job educating some of our children. With this new law, we’ll make sure we’re providing all of our children with access to a high-quality education.”

While this new legislation calls for a variety of tests and reports to measure and assure school and teacher accountability, the true measure of success in this quest for academic excellence is to guarantee that high-quality education is standard..

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