Facts and Terms Every Parent Should Know About NCLB
The Facts About No Child Left Behind
Funding: No Child Left Behind gives school districts more money.
In fact, President Bush and Congress are spending more money than ever
before on the education of America's children.
Flexibility: No Child Left Behind gives states and school
districts more control and more flexibility to use resources where they
are needed most. Principals and administrators will spend less time
filling out forms and more time helping your child learn.
Accountability: No Child Left Behind holds schools and school
districts accountable for results. Schools are responsible for making
sure your child is learning.
School District Report Cards: No Child Left Behind gives parents
report cards so they can see which schools in their district are
succeeding and why. With this information, No Child Left Behind gives
parents, community leaders, teachers, principals, and elected leaders
the information they need to improve schools.
Public School Choice: No Child Left Behind may let you transfer
your child to another public school if the state says that your child's
school is "in need of improvement." Your school district may pay for
transportation for your child. Contact your child's school district to
find out if your child has this opportunity.
Public School Choice:
Quick Reference for Parents
No Child Left Behind offers parents new options to prevent their
children from being trapped in schools in need of improvement or in
dangerous schools. Under the law, parents are equipped with new choices
that allow them to transfer their children into schools with track
records of success and safety.
What is "public school choice?"
If a school is identified for school improvement, corrective action or
restructuring, in accordance with requirements under the law a district
must provide all students in the school the option to transfer to
another public school or public charter school no later than the first
day of the school year following identification. Your school district is
required to inform you if your child is eligible to attend another
public school. The school district also must identify the public
schools, including public charter schools, that you can select for
transfer. Public school choice must be provided unless state law
How do I know if my child is eligible?
If your child attends a school identified for school improvement,
corrective action or restructuring, your child is eligible to transfer.
Do the public school choice options include only schools in the same
Not necessarily. Options may include a neighboring school district. If
all schools served by the district are in school improvement, corrective
action or restructuring, the district must try to establish a
cooperative agreement with other districts to provide students the
option to transfer to another public school. In addition, nothing in No
Child Left Behind prohibits districts from establishing cooperative
agreements, regardless of whether or not all schools in a particular
district are in need of improvement.
Will transportation be offered to pupils exercising public school choice
Districts must provide transportation, in general, for students
exercising public school choice under school improvement, corrective
action or restructuring. If the funds are insufficient to provide
transportation to each student who requests a transfer, the district
must give priority to the lowest-achieving students from low-income
What is the "unsafe school choice option"
in No Child Left Behind?
States receiving any funds under No Child Left Behind must establish and
implement a statewide policy requiring that a student be allowed to
attend a safe public elementary or secondary school within the local
school district, including a public charter school, if he or she:
Attends a persistently dangerous public elementary or secondary school,
as determined by the state, or
Becomes a victim of a violent crime, as determined by state law, while
in or on the grounds of the public elementary or secondary school that
the student attends.
What if my child's school is listed as being in need of improvement but
my district hasn't informed me of my options?
You should contact your local and state school officials. The Department
of Education's Web site provides a list of contacts for your state.
Visit www.NoChildLeftBehind.gov or call toll-free 1-800-USA-LEARN.
Extra Help with Learning: No Child Left Behind may also provide
your child with free tutoring and extra help with schoolwork if the
state says your child's school has been "in need of improvement" for at
least 2 years. This extra help is often referred to as Supplemental
Educational Services. Contact your child's school district to find out
if your child qualifies.
Parental Involvement: No Child Left Behind requires schools to
develop ways to get parents more involved in their child's education and
in improving the school. Contact your child's school to find out how you
can get involved.
Measuring Knowledge: No Child Left Behind requires states to test
your child in reading and math every year in grades 3-8. Your child will
also be tested at least once in high school. The tests will help you,
your child, and your child's teachers know how well your child is
learning and when he or she needs extra help.
Scientifically Based Research: No Child Left Behind focuses on
teaching methods that have been proven by research to work. There will
be no more experimenting on children with educational fads.
Reading First: No Child Left Behind provides more than one
billion dollars a year to help children learn to read. Reading First is
the part of No Child Left Behind that is dedicated to ensuring all
children learn to read on grade level by the third grade. Reading First
provides money to states and many school districts to support high
quality reading programs based on the best scientific research. Contact
your child's school district to find out if its reading program is based
Teacher Quality: No Child Left Behind provides funding to help
teachers learn to be better teachers.
Terms Every Parent Needs to
Title I — This is the part of No Child Left Behind that supports
programs in schools and school districts to improve the learning of
children from low-income families. The U.S. Department of Education
provides Title I funds to states to give to school districts based on
the number of children from low-income families in each district.
State Assessments — This refers to the tests developed by your
state that your child will take every year in grades 3-8 and at least
once in high school. Using these tests, the state will be able to
compare schools to each other and know which ones need extra help to
improve. Contact your child's school or school district to find out more
details about your state's tests.
Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) — This is the term No Child Left
Behind uses to explain that your child's school has met state reading
and math goals. Your school district's report card will let you know
whether or not your child's school has made AYP.
School in Need of Improvement — This is the term No Child Left
Behind uses to refer to schools receiving Title I funds that have not
met state reading and math goals (AYP) for at least two years. If your
child's school is labeled a "school in need of improvement," it receives
extra help to improve and your child has the option to transfer to
another public school, including a public charter school. Also, your
child may be eligible to receive free tutoring and extra help with
schoolwork. Contact your child's school district to find out if your
Supplemental Educational Services (SES) — This is the term No
Child Left Behind uses to refer to the tutoring and extra help with
schoolwork in subjects such as reading and math that children from
low-income families may be eligible to receive. This help is provided
free of charge and generally takes place outside the regular school day,
such as after school or during the summer.
Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT) — This is the term No Child Left
Behind uses for a teacher who proves that he or she knows the subjects
he or she is teaching, has a college degree, and is state-certified. No
Child Left Behind requires that your child be taught by a Highly
Qualified Teacher in core academic subjects.