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Copyright (c) 2006 Brigham Young University Law School
Brigham Young University Education and Law Journal

NOTE AND COMMENT: No Educator Left Unscathed: How No Child Left Behind Threatens Educators' Careers


2006 BYU Educ. & L. J. 613


Timothy P. Crisafulli*


I. Introduction
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), the 2002 federal law that overhauls the requirements that states and their schools must meet in order to qualify for federal education funding, 1 puts the careers of tenured teachers and administrators at risk. 2 It does this by setting unreasonable standards 3 and then calls for the termination of educators when they fail to meet those standards. 4 Specifically, NCLB requires schools to make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), meaning that a gradually increasing percentage of students must score at or above a "proficient" level on standardized tests 5 until one hundred percent of students score at that level by 2014. 6 Such an unreasonable standard will likely lead nearly every U.S. school to be labeled a "failure" by that year. 7 After all, differences arising from varied student skill levels, personal adversities faced by students, disabilities, a lack of language skills among some non-native English speakers, and countless other variables render it extraordinarily unlikely that every single student in every U.S. school will attain "proficient" standardized test scores. 8 Just two school years after NCLB was enacted, one out of every twenty U.S. schools was already failing to meet federal requirements. 9 The number of "failing" schools will rise dramatically until nearly every U.S. school joins their ranks by 2014. 10

As this occurs, the careers of teachers and administrators will be at risk. This is because "failing" schools lose federal funding ...
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