Document Type


Publication Date



Accountability to the public, rating system

Series Title

Office for Education Policy

Series Number

Volume 02 Issue 02


NCLB: Education’s Panacea or Disaster? Will NCLB have a revolutionary impact on America’s schools? Is NCLB an unfunded mandate? Will NCLB strengthen teaching or demoralize the teaching profession? Will NCLB finally provide equitable education for minorities and low-income students or worsen disparities in education? Since NCLB passed in 2001, pundits, educators, and elected officials have asked these questions, expressing and sometimes exaggerating some of the real strengths and weaknesses of the legislation. The following section highlights some of the most controversial points in the legislation, mostly taken from an outline articulated by the former Assistant Secretary of Education for President Reagan, Chester Finn, Jr., in 2003. A discussion of the prominent strengths and weaknesses in the legislation analyzed by multiple research groups follows Table 1.