The Effects of No Child Left Behind on the Achievement Gap

Students in the United States of American have historically received unequal quality of education based upon ethnic and racial factors. Prior to Brown v Board of Education (1954) schools could be racially segregated and were usually not given equal financial resources. This inequality in education caused significant deficits in the measured achievement of African-American students in standardized testing, graduation rates and percentage of students attending college. The No Child Left Behind Act (2001) was a government action requiring greater accountability in promoting the success of all students in the United States with a stated goal of decreasing the gap in academic success between minority groups and their counterparts nationally. This paper will review the processes of The No Child Left Behind Act and analyze the effectiveness in Minnesota of one of its stated goals of promoting success of African-American students in school. This literature review will examine the different factors that have contributed to the gap in standardized test scores and graduation rates between African-American students and their classmates. The factors examined include cultural and environmental factors, parental support factors, ethnic factors and school process factors. Standardized test scores, access to qualified teachers and graduation rates are analyzed to determine if The No Child Left Behind Act has having a positive effect in promoting the academic success of African-American students in Minnesota.

David J. Holler
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