Title: Looking at the No Child Left Behind Act from a systems thinking perspective

Authors: Li-Chu Sung

Addresses: Teacher Education Center, Ming Chuan University, 5 De Ming Rd., Gui Shan District, Taoyuan City 333, Taiwan

Abstract: The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) was the focus of President Bush's education policy in 2002. After Obama became president in 2009, he also included NCLB in his educational policies. It has been 13 years since the act was signed into law. The policy has drawn a lot of attention and has met with mixed reviews from administrators, superintendents, educators and researchers. This paper presents a brief review of the systems thinking literature, which is used to explain the responses to the NCLB initiative. This paper discusses some strengths and weaknesses of the NCLB implementation based on my literature review. Lastly, this paper proposes a strategy using the framework of systems thinking for facilitating education reform in the USA. It also suggests finding alternatives in the USA and studying successful examples from other countries to reach system-wide excellence in order to increase student learning and maximise teachers' performance.

Keywords: No Child Left Behind Act; NCLB Act; education initiatives; systems thinking; mental models; double-loop thinking; educational reform; literature review; USA; United States; student learning; teacher performance.

DOI: 10.1504/IJASS.2016.082169

International Journal of Applied Systemic Studies, 2016 Vol.6 No.4, pp.349 - 364

Accepted: 11 Jun 2016
Published online: 09 Feb 2017 *

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