No Child Left Behind Act Law and Legal Definition

No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) is NCLB is a federal legislation that enacts the theories of standards-based education reform. Pursuant to 20 USCS § 6301, NCLB ensures that all children have a fair, equal, and significant opportunity to obtain a high-quality education and reach, at a minimum, proficiency on challenging state academic achievement standards and state academic assessments. It is based on the belief that setting high standards and establishing measurable goals can improve individual outcomes in education. NCLB requires states to develop assessments in basic skills to be given to all students in certain grades. This is possible only if those states receive federal funding for schools. NCLB does not assert a national achievement standard. Standards are set by each individual state.

NCLB focuses on reducing class and racial gaps in school performance by creating common expectations for all. NCLB requires schools and districts to focus their attention on the academic achievement of traditionally under served groups of children, such as low-income students, students with disabilities, and students of major racial and ethnic subgroups. NCLB authorizes each state for defining major racial and ethnic subgroups itself.