Success in Education

Mackenzie, Misty, Vanessa

April 20 was University Day at the UMPI campus. Among the many presentations there was one located in 210 Pullen, given by education majors in their junior year, Misty Steward, Mackenzie Beaulieu, and Vannessa Hodgkins. In this small room one of the biggest controversies–education was discussed! Steward and Beaulieu gave a tell-all presentation on the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and the Every Student Succeeds Act, respectively. Hodgkins then finished off the presentation by comparing the two.

Misty Steward launched the presentation by showing a short video overviewing the idea behind the NCLB. This act was created after the Brown v. Board of Education court case, which was an important accomplishment on its own. The NCLB Act used the idea of every student getting an equal education and making sure this happens. To make sure that every student was getting a good, quality education, standardized tests were implemented. Steward also talked about how “NCLB puts a special focus on ensuring that states and schools boost their performance….” The act was focusing on raising math and English scores.

Following suit, Mackenzie Beaulieu discussed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This act was a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act from 1965. President Obama pushed this act and it was passed this past year in December. Under the ESSA, more power and funding was given to the states to decide how to do the standardized tests. Under this new act it would also be easier to receive funding for both mentorship and tutoring.

Vannessa Hodgkins explained the main differences between the two acts. While the end aim in both acts is the same–ensuring that students get a good quality education–they have different ideas on how to get it done. Under the ESSA, the federal involvement is reduced compared with the NCLB, which implements its federal standards. Under the ESSA, the states hold the power over the assessments, which is a big change, because in the NCLB Act the federal government had final say. Also in the ESSA, the high stakes testing that was important in the NCLB doesn’t exists. As future teachers, Hodgkins, Beaulieu and Steward all favor the ESSA over the NCLB. The new ESSA also gives the school more flexibility in their Title 1 funding than what was afforded in the NCLB Act.

The students finished up their presentation with a short–and fun–online quiz. They used a website called People playing got to pick goofy names that would be displayed on the screen after each question was answered. Consisting of only 13 questions, it was a short game to help cement the information that the presentation covered. A fun ending to an interesting topic.