Where No Child Left Behind Went Wrong

8:27 AM Monday October 17, 2011
by Adam Richardson of Harvard Business Review

“Recently President Obama started talking about the first substantive changes to the No Child Left Behind Act in its 10-year history. He argued that while the goal of closing the achievement gap between students of different ethnicities and income levels is a laudatory one, the levers and incentives that the program has in place are not working. I couldn’t agree more, but I still have a fundamental disagreement with the narrow focus of No Child Left Behind. It has a retrograde
emphasis on teaching children “the basics” (followed by annual testing on the same) using subjects and methods more relevant to the past mass-production era, rather than the creative, global, innovation- and information-driven economy that we are in.

Less of the Three R’s, More of the Four C’s
To put it bluntly, No Child Left Behind (NCLB) should stop focusing exclusively on the “Three R’s” (reading, ‘riting, ‘rithmetic), and should focus much more on the Four C’s: Creativity, Complexity, Curiosity, and Collaboration. Without a solid grasp on these, we are not preparing students to be…”


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