No Child Left Behind Act and Education Inequality

Topic: Education Issues
Words: 1149 Pages: 4

Education as a Social Problem

Education inequality is a social problem experienced in many nations in the world, especially the developing ones. In these countries, there is uneven dissemination of academic resources among the population. The unequally distributed learning resources include qualified teachers, school funding, infrastructure, technology, and books. In such a community, the unfairness of resource distribution makes them feel oppressed and deprived. These inequalities made President George Bush signed the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act into law so that each child could have equal access to academic resources (Heise, 2017). Learners must have equal access to educational resources regardless of their race, economic status, gender, and religion.

Various factors play a part in the educational inequality experienced in the population. Poverty is a major contributing factor to the education inequality experienced globally in developing nations. Racism can also play a part in affecting the distribution of schooling resources (Matthew, 2018). The disabled may also experience the uneven allocation of learning resources as some countries regard them as marginalized group members. The difference affects students’ concentration in class, causing a variation in the educational success among the poor population. The gender of the student may also disturb education equity as some nations may give one gender priority, hindering the schooling process of the other.

The Effect of the Problem on Myself

The problem affects me because, as a stakeholder in the education sector, it is painful to watch some children struggle to meet their educational needs while others easily get quality education. I want a society where everyone has equal access to school regardless of their economic, racial, or gender status. Education is a right for every student and thus must equally be enjoyed by all students. Education has a significant role in determining the learners’ future, and therefore, by improving access to equal education, students’ future lifestyle is upgraded.

Theoretical Perspectives of Explanation of the Problem

For a better understanding of the problem, it can be explained from three theoretical perspectives: symbolic interactionism, functionalism, and conflict theory. Symbolic interactionism considers the symbols and the details encompassed in everyday life (Quist-Adade, 2019). People often link meaning to the signs they observe in society. Verbal conversations that happen in the lives of individuals serve as significant symbols. In this theoretical perspective, the marginalized individuals can be heard complaining about the inequalities they face. The person listening to these individuals attaches meaning to the complaints they present.

The mechanical solidarity within the society is broken due to inequality. The functionalist perspective dictates that every aspect of the public is inter-reliant and contributes to the society’s unison functioning (Shah, 2021). The state provides education for its people, who submit their levies to the government. In a nation with inequality in education, society cannot function in unison as the government cannot play a role in education provision. It thus leads to higher unemployment rates, which ultimately affect the taxes the government gets from its citizens. People cannot cooperate in unison for the prosperity of the nation due to education discrimination.

People using conflict theory approaches believe that the educational system strengthens and perpetuates racial, gender, political, religious, and economic disparities that affect access to the resources within the community. The conflict theory focuses on the conflicted and negative aspects of the ever-changing society (Parker, 2020). The concept negatively views society and stresses that the fulfillment of one’s education depends on the class. The poor people in the community cannot have equal access that the rich people are privileged to have.

Best Theoretical Perspective for Explaining the Problem

The functionalist perspective is the best to explain the problem of education inequality. It shows that the government and the citizens have a huge role to play in ensuring the better functioning of society. The functionalist theorists believe that society’s cohesion is vital in ensuring the community operates in harmony. The government has to provide the funds, build classes, and hire teachers to secure education equity. The public has to relay their taxes to the government to secure funding for learning activities.

Solutions to Educational Inequality Problem

The NCLB Act of 2001 offered solutions to ending the inequalities experienced among the learners in the USA. The policy aimed at closing the existing gaps by ensuring that each learner has an equal and fair chance to get a high-quality education (Heise, 2017). Based on the symbolic interactionism theory, people had complained about the inequality of education they experienced. It compelled the federal government to release funds to these institutions to help teach poor children in the community. These funds allocated were used to build classes and employ more teachers, thus helping solve the problem.

Through the functionalism perspective, the government understands that it has a role in providing scholars equal access to education. In the NCLB, the government understood its role in accountability, ensuring flexibility, and providing research-based teaching to learners (Adler-Greene, 2019). The flexibility allowed schools to use the funds allocated towards them for students’ improvement. The disadvantaged children could attain academic proficiency through this act. The research-based education emphasized the learning practices that had been proven effective through scientific research.

Based on the conflict theory, the fulfillment of education depends on the class belongs in society. The NCLB Act tried to eliminate class disparities by ensuring that the disadvantaged children in the community had equal access to education despite their status (Song, 2019). The funding to schools was to close the gap experienced within the learning institutions. Schools were required to use the allocated funds to help disadvantaged students achieve academic proficiency. Each learner must have equivalent access to the learning resources despite their class in society.

Societal Obstacles to Attaining the Solutions

Society’s obstacles that make it impractical for achievement include racism and corruption. Teachers and other students discriminate against some learners based on their skin color, making it impossible to have a conducive learning environment. Despite the government’s efforts to fund these educational programs for disadvantaged children, racism victims cannot realize the benefit due to discrimination. The corruption within society creates a way for people to embezzle the funds meant to improve the learning environment (Denisova-Schmidt & de Wit, 2017). The disadvantaged students thus continue suffering despite funds being allocated to facilitate their education.

Personal Position on the Problem’s Solution

Based on the functionalism perspective, each body ensures a sound and harmonious operating society. I defend that the state must ensure that equal education access is provided to its residents as it is its role. The government must allocate the funds meant to ensure education to the disadvantaged learners, especially those disadvantaged. It also has to employ teachers and build enough classes to provide a conducive environment. Disadvantaged citizens also must pay taxes to the government to help them finance crucial learning activities. In ensuring that everyone plays their role, the society runs harmoniously, and it will solve the education inequality.


Adler-Greene, L. (2019). Every Student Succeeds Act: Are schools making sure every student succeeds? Touro Law Review, 35, 11. Web.

Denisova-Schmidt, E., & de Wit, H. (2017). The global challenge of corruption in higher education. IAU Horizons, 22(1), 28–29. Web.

Heise, M. (2017). From No Child Left behind to Every Student Succeeds: Back to a future for education federalism. Columbia Law Review, 117, 1859. Web.

Matthew, D. B. (2018). Lessons from the other America: Turning a public health lens on fighting racism and poverty. University of Memphis Law Review, 49, 229. Web.

Parker, J. (2020). Introducing social work. SAGE Publications.

Quist-Adade, C. (2019). Symbolic interactionism: The basics. Vernon Press.

Shah, S. A. (2021). Mapping trajectories of educational reforms in Pakistan: A functionalist and Neo-Marxist views. Pakistan Journal of Educational Research and Evaluation (PJERE), 9(1), 24–44. Web.

Song, T. (2019). Putting educational reform into practice: The impact of the No Child Left Behind Act on students, teachers, and schools. CMC Senior Theses. Web.

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