Date of Award

1-1-2009

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Educational Administration

First Advisor

Smith, Curt

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to investigate the impact of the landmark educational reform legislation, No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) on four specific areas within the local educational setting: (1) local curriculum decisions (2) teaching decisions as they relate to daily instruction (3) potential narrowing of the curriculum and (4) teacher job satisfaction. All public schools in the United States are now subject to the mandates of NCLB. This legislation marked a profound change in the relationship between the federal government and state and local educational agencies. NCLB represents an expansion of the federal role in education where federal control of education has reached deeper than ever before into the heart of state and local educational operations. As a result, NCLB has direct implications for what takes place educationally in the individual classroom. The local educational setting and the individual classroom is where this study focused its efforts. This study suggests that NCLB has had, and will continue to have, a major impact on curriculum decisions at the local level as well as classroom instructional decisions made either by the teacher or enforced upon the classroom teacher by local administrative or local school district mandates. The study also suggests that this impact will be driven by the requirement that schools achieve a specified rate of progress in the areas of mathematics and reading as measured through the use of standardized tests. Under NCLB a school's performance on state reading and mathematics tests will determine if the school and its district make adequate yearly progress, commonly referred to as AYP. Schools that fail to meet the annual achievement goals are subjected to an escalating series of sanctions. This study sought to determine if curriculum decisions at the district and administrative level have been driven by NCLB and the AYP component. The study sought to determine if curriculum decisions and classroom practices on the part of teachers were influenced by NCLB. Additionally the study sought to determine if NCLB and the AYP component have caused a narrowing of the curriculum and if so, to what extent. Finally, this study sought to determine if NCLB and the AYP component had any impact on teacher job satisfaction as it pertains to classroom instructional decisions and teacher autonomy.

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