Educational standards have changed tremendously over the years. At one point, a child only had to pass an exam that covered everything they had learned over the year. However, in 2001 the U.S. Department of Education passed the No Child Left Behind law to confirm the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The law basically holds the states and the school systems accountable for the proper education of children, which brought the standards of learning (SOL).
According to this law, a child cannot pass to the next grade level if he or she is not performing based of the standards of learning curriculum. Now this creates a problem when you have a child who has not passed to the next grade level two consecutive times because the child did not pass the SOL test. If the child gets moved to the next grade, the teachers and the administrators will get penalized. However, will that be the same outcome if the child is in a class with children two years younger causing a disturbance? At one time, a child could go to summer school in order to retake the subject, but instead of being offered free of charge, a parent has to pay so much for each subject.
One problem that has been identified about SOL testing is that the test has material that teachers have not covered with the students. The standards of learning curriculum supposed to be an outline for the teachers to follow in order to properly teach and prepare the students for the test at the end of the year. However, every teacher does not facilitate the same, which means a child will not be taught evenly across every subject giving them a disadvantage when it is time to take the test. If this is the case, a teacher should begin teaching the core concepts of the test at the beginning of the year giving the students a chance to learn the information. If done correctly, a student has a chance to succeed; however, if not properly taught, is it fair to place their whole academic career on a standardized test?
It is understandable that educational standards should be raised in order to fully reach a student’s potential. However, the current way that the standardized curriculum is taught seems to take away from the child’s learning ability. At one time, it was acceptable for teachers to encourage students to think outside the box and create innovative ways to learn new concepts. Now behind this new standard, teachers are only allowed to teach what it important by educational standards, the standards of learning.