The Student Success Act is an act that was introduced in the United States House of Representatives during the spring of this year. The act is a long-term bill that would reform various aspects of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act along with the National Standards for Mathematics and the National Assessment of Educational Progress. The United States Federal Department of Education would be required to implement the provisions of the act within one year. Many educators and parents alike, express apprehensions about the impact of such reforms to the quality of education in the country.
In the last few years, the United States has been able to achieve superior test scores despite mounting student poverty. In many states, student poverty continues to rise, with the majority of students living in poverty-level families. The bill promises to address these issues. In addition, the act would also affect how educational tests are performed across different states, as well as nationwide.
Currently, the U.S. Department of Education determines the annual performance of each nation’s students by the scores that are scored on the International Assessment of English Language-Learning (IELTS) and the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). These exams are internationally accepted benchmarks used to rate the level of knowledge and skills of individuals from different nations. Based on the scores, the United States and other countries would be able to determine how well their schools are performing. According to critics of the act, the United States has been using the SAT as a tool for admissions purposes for decades now, and it is time for a change. By changing the test that students will be required to take, they argue, the standards set forth by the government would no longer be accurate and unfair to the United States.
In addition to the tests themselves, the United States Department of Education has established what is called the National Goals for the School Age Population. Among these goals is the goal that all students in the United States of America will reach proficiency in all areas of knowledge within one year of attending a traditional high school. The Act promises to help achieve this goal by increasing access to higher education for students, as well as making sure that all schools remain on par with one another when it comes to testing. Opponents argue that these changes would create more inequality within the school system. They fear that students from wealthy families will still end up with inferior education, while those from less well-off families will be able to get a higher education.
Critics of the Student Success Act claim that there are still many problems with our schools, such as ineffective teaching, excessive discipline, and rigorous class attendance laws. However, the Act offers hope to parents who feel that their children have been negatively affected by various circumstances in their lives. It is hoped that by ensuring better academic levels and stricter rules regarding student behavior and academic misconduct, our schools will become more balanced and equitable places of learning. In the end, the only way to know if something truly works is to see it work itself.
As with all legislation, the question of what is the student success act has divided opinions. Many claim that the act is no different from many others that have been passed in the past, such as the War Education Act or the Higher Education Act. Others, such as the American Association of School administrators, claim that the Act does not go far enough. Opponents of the Act feel that we still need to invest in after-school programs and that too much time is being spent on paperwork and procedures instead of actually working on students’ educations. Even the supporters of the Act to acknowledge that there are still many areas that need to be worked on.