Improving Student Outcomes in Rural and Small Schools
Keywords:school improvement, accountability, small schools, student outcomes, No Child Left Behind
With the enactment of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), the United States entered the “age of high-stakes educational accountability”. According to the United States Department of Education, NCLB is designed to change the culture of America's schools by closing the achievement gap, offering more flexibility, giving parents more options, and teaching students based on what works. In a speech made during the 2002 signing of NCLB, President George W. Bush referred to accountability as "an exercise in hope. When we raise academic standards, children raise their academic sights. When children are regularly tested, teachers know where and how to improve. When scores are known to parents, parents are empowered to push for change. When accountability for our schools is real, the results for our children are real." Accountability is described in the NCLB act as a comprehensive system developed by state and local education agencies that sets high learning goals for all students, frequently assesses their educational progress and provides focused intervention for those students whose progress is not deemed appropriate.
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