President Bush signed into law the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) in January 200, this new law reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). NCLB ushered in the most extensive changes in federal law concerning public school education in forty years. It is the first time that federal legislation has mandated student success, all other federal legislation mandated opportunity rather than success.
The law requires all children to proficient in reading and mathematics by 2014. Other provisions of the law mandate improved communications with parents and improved safety at school for children. While NCLB has certain provisions that apply only to Title1 schools, the law clearly requires all states to develop a single system of accountability so there will be uniform standards for all children. Schools are required to make adequate yearly progress (AYP) towards the 2014 goal. Thus, each state must develop student testing programs that demonstrate satisfactory student improvement each year. States are also required to pay particular attention to the progess of children from minority groups such as African Americans, Asians and Hispanics. Children with disabilities is another identifiable group whose progress must be monitored for AYP.
The consequences of not achieving AYP vary from being designated as a school needing improvement to, after five years of not achieving AYP, severe repercussions, such as having school personnel replaced or having the school year extended. If a student is a victim of a violent crime, that student must be allowed to transfer to another school in the district. Of course, problems with this provision arise if there is only one school in the district or if other schools are far from student's home.
For human resources administration, the implications of these provisions require serious attention. First, the requirement to hire highly qualified teachers who are capable of helping students meet proficiency requirements places a significant responsibility on all administrators, faculty, and staff members involved in the human resources function. Critical dimension of the human resources function because a continual upgrade of knowledge and skills is required to meet the ever-changing needs of students. Further research is constantly improving our subject matter knowledge base and pedagogical methodologies.
NCLB is a particular manifestation of school reform. The reform movement is always present in education, because change and improvement are embedded in the eduxation profession. The development of each child's potential to his or her maximum capacity is the goal of education. The culture of society is the milieu within which administrators, teachers and staff members must carry out their responsibilities. Thus school reform will occupy the attention of all administrators and particularly human resources administrators because people are initiators and those who must implement all reforms.
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