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Publisher Description

Introduced in 2001, No Child Left Behind (NCLB) was hailed as the most significant education legislation since the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. The legislation purported to be a "landmark in education reform designed to improve student achievement and change the culture of America's schools" (U.S. Department of Education, 2003, p. 1). Shortly after the enactment, the bill was scrutinized by school officials and policy makers and later criticized for multiple reasons, such as a lack of funding, an overemphasis on testing, and inconsistency in standards at the federal, state and local levels (Dingerson, Beam, & Brown, 2004). Despite the criticism that NCLB has received over the past five years, there are some promising features of the legislation that seek to involve various historically excluded stakeholders in the educational process (Fege & Smith, 2002) and empower parents with decision-making power (Rogers, 2006; U.S. Department of Education, 2003). Central to its mission was the assurance of academic success for all students through authentic partnerships between schools, parents and communities. Parent involvement is specifically addressed by the authors of NCLB and loosely described in the legislation as a partnership that envisions parents with governance power within a democratic process (Rogers, 2006). While the provision seeks to mandate parent engagement in schools, what remains unclear under NCLB's parent involvement mandate is the extent to which parents are actually engaged in schools. One consistent critique of NCLB posits that it falls short in providing enforcement mechanisms to ensure compliance at the state and local levels (Davis, 2004). School systems cannot be sure that schools are actually complying with the federal mandate. Moreover, school officials cannot determine the roles race and class play when parents do make efforts to assume leadership roles in schools. Therefore, we, the researchers, seek to gain insight into these issues through this work.

Professional & Technical
January 1
Caddo Gap Press

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