Comparative Analysis of the 2001 No Child Left Behind Policy and the 1960s Bilingual Movements, and their effects on Bilingualism in the United States

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2021-05
Authors
MacMurdo, Heather
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History
The Department of History seeks to provide students with a knowledge of historical themes and events, an understanding of past cultures and social organizations, and also knowledge of how the past pertains to the present.

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The Department of History was formed in 1969 from the division of the Department of History, Government, and Philosophy.

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This project assesses the Bilingual Education Act (BEA) of 1968 and the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001 to compare their effectiveness. The BEA developed from civil rights activists’ demands. It provided grants to help develop education in the student’s native languages. However, the BEA from the beginning became dissociated from these larger civil rights demands. It also mainly supported programs designed to transition students to English instead of maintaining the student’s ancestral language. With each reauthorization the bill became further divorced from the initial ideals that inspired it. The NCLB was founded on the idea that the United States needed to increase accountability in schools to help the country stay competitive globally. To do so the NCLB mandated nationwide standardized assessments to measure educational achievement. However, these assessments and the erroneous assumptions of bilingual learning capabilities negatively impacted students with limited English language proficiency. My initial hypothesis was that since the BEA was connected to the Civil Rights Movement it would have accomplished more than the NCLB. This hypothesis would appear to be true only in a limited fashion. Instead, both bills failed students in ways that impacted their educational success.
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