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From the Capital to the Classroom: Year 2 of the No Child Left Behind Act

Author(s): Elizabeth Pinkerton, Caitlin Scott, Barbara Buell, Nancy Kober
Published: January 1, 2004

This report from the Center on Education Policy describes the implementation and effects of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) during calendar year 2003, the second year of the Act's existence. The report is the first and most comprehensive national examination of all main aspects of NCLB implementation at the federal, state, and local levels, and is the second CEP report to examine the implementation of NCLB. The information in this report is based on a survey of 47 states and the District of Columbia, a nationally representative survey of 274 school districts, in-depth case studies of 33 urban, suburban, and rural school districts, and other research methods.

Among our major findings are that: states and school districts are trying hard to meet the requirements of the Act and agree with its goals; broader and deeper effects of the law were being felt by school districts in 2003, which is resulting in additional help for schools identified for improvement; choosing another public school is rarely used by parents of children in identified schools, while the option of receiving tutoring services is used more frequently; states and school districts are moving slowly to update the qualifications of teachers and paraprofessionals as required by the Act; some of the requirements of the Act are unworkable; and states and school districts face serious funding pressures and a lack of capacity to carry out the Act.

List of School Districts in Case Studies:

Alabama: Calhoun County School District
Alaska: Kodiak Island Borough School District
Arkansas: Fayetteville Public Schools
California: Escondido Union Elementary School District
California: Grant Joint Union High School District
California: Oakland Unified School District
Colorado: Colorado Springs District 11
Colorado: Fort Lupton Weld Re-8 School District
Florida: Collier County School District
Idaho: Joint School District No. 2 -- Meridian
Illinois: Chicago Public Schools
Kansas: Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools
Louisiana: St. John the Baptist Parish Public Schools
Massachusetts: Avon Public School District
Massachusetts: Boston Public Schools
Minnesota: Cloquet Independent School District No. 94

Mississippi: Pascagoula School District
Missouri: Hermitage School District
Nebraska: Heartland School District
Nevada: Clark County School District
New Jersey: Bayonne School District
New Mexico: Bloomfield School District
New York: Romulus Central Schools
North Carolina: Wake County Public School System
North Dakota: Napoleon School District
Ohio: Cleveland Municipal School District
Oregon: Tigard-Tualatin School District
South Carolina: Berkeley County School District
Texas: Cuero Independent School District
Vermont: Marlboro School District
Vermont: Orleans Central Supervisory Union
Virginia: Waynesboro School District
Wisconsin: Sheboygan Area School District

Download files:

Full Report (PDF format, 2315 KB)

Standard Error Tables (PDF format, 87.1 KB)

Introduction to School Districts Case Study (PDF format, 11.2 KB)

Report on School Districts Case Study (PDF format, 556 KB)

Case Study: Alabama to California (PDF format, 84.7 KB)

Case Study: Colorado to Louisiana (PDF format, 121 KB)

Case Study: Massachusetts to New Mexico (PDF format, 102 KB)

Case Study: New York to Wisconsin (PDF format, 136 KB)

Press Release for Report (PDF format, 19.5 KB)