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Two Surveys Examine Accountability and the No Child Left Behind Act

While schools throughout the United States grapple with mandates of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, a UA study released by the Research and Advocacy Network notes “flaws that make implementation nearly impossible” and suggests direction for improvement.

Entitled “Accountability and No Child Left Behind,” the study affirms support for accountability and universal proficiency but notes that “what has been missing is… the technical expertise and the resources necessary to provide for education reform and the teaching of all children.”

The study was commissioned by the Network, a consortium of superintendents of 37 Arkansas school districts representing more than 50 percent of the state’s students and coordinated by Leslie V. Carnine, executive in residence of the College of Education and Health Professions. In addition to Carnine, authors of the study are Carleton R. Holt, assistant professor of educational administration, and Marsha Jones, assistant superintendent of curriculum for Springdale Public Schools.

The study presents the results of two recent surveys, one of superintendents from throughout Arkansas and the other a poll of public attitudes and opinion, conducted by the UA Survey Research Center, that reached 600 Arkansans statewide. Carnine noted that both surveys revealed the need for further research. From the responses of superintendents, it was clear there is a need for strategies to bring research-based methods to all school systems. Results of both surveys suggestedthat the use of negative sanctions must be examined to determine their impact on the ability of institutions to work effectively.

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