Political Systems, Social Forces and the Achievement Gap

By C.Kent McGuire and Vivian Ikpa.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The United States Senate approved the “No Child Left Behind Act” (NCLBA) in December 2001. President Bush II signed this historic education reform initiative, into law on January 8, 2002. This Act, a reauthorization of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act provides 26.5 billion dollars to education. The NCLBA outlines and redefines the federal role in education policy. Specifically, this Act proposes a systemic testing program for students in grades three through eight. The primary goal of the NCLBA is to narrow the achievement gap between disadvantaged and advantaged children attending public schools. The NCLBA seeks to accomplish this objective by emphasizing four principles: accountability for results, increased local control, increased emphasis on successful teaching methods; and increased parental involvement. As educators and social scientists attempt to align these principles with the public values, the achievement gap between African Americans and European Americans children continues to grow. The achievement gap between ethnic minorities and non minorities groups will not be eliminated until the structural gaps are addressed by the American society. This study seeks to examine the impact of social and political forces surrounding the NCLBA. The specific theoretical frame is grounded in the following democratic values: Liberty; Equality; Political Equity; Economic Equality; Equality of Opportunity; and Equality of Results.

Keywords: Education Policy, Politics, Urban Education, Achievement Gap

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 2, Issue 5, pp.307-316. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 596.581KB).

Dr. C.Kent McGuire

Dean, College of Education, College of Education, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Dr. Vivian Ikpa

Associate Professor, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA


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