Region 8 Educators Grade the No Child Left Behind Act

JONESBORO, AR -- If you think school has changed a lot in the past five years, it has.  It's because of the federal No Child Left Behind Act that is now up for reauthorization.

Region 8 educators say they've seen improvements since the law began, but at the same time, it's made it a lot harder on many teachers to meet the standards.

"It's been very frustrating for us," said Dr. Brad Faught.

MacArthur Junior High Principal Dr. Brad Faught said the No Child Left Behind Act has some flaws.

"I think it needs a major overhaul, I really do.  I think that's the big issue.  I don't think any school person minds being held accountable," said Faught.

"No Child Left Behind has enabled some students, but has also taken away from some students," said Stephanie Gray.

Stephanie Gray teaches English at Harrisburg Middle School and said one problem is students learn at different rates.

"It's not practical to assume that a child will be on a set grade level at a set time," said Gray.

While students are under a lot of pressure to excel the pressure really falls back on the teachers.

"A lot of the idea was to put more pressure on teachers and they'll teach better and what I find is most teachers are doing an excellent job and are frustrated," said Faught.

Gray said she was prepared for this change while still in school herself, and the frustration is really being felt by teachers who have been doing this for 20 and 30 years.

"Veteran teachers have had a harder time with it because of the accountability.  It has changed their way of teaching," said Faught.

So, what needs to be done to fix it?  Faught said he wants there to be a national standard.  Currently each state comes up with a plan of their own.

"If you look at states that require a test for third grade to get to fourth grade, those kids tend to score better," said Faught.

While educators don't want to put more pressure on the students, making them more accountable for their work could help them do better in the long run.

"Where we take that kid in the course of a year is much more significant than saying all kids will be proficient," said Faught.