Video Released: A Teacher’s Guide to Fixing No Child Left Behind

Fixing NCLB logo

Test obsession, narrow curricula, blaming teachers—these are a few of the problems created by the No Child Left Behind law that are unpacked in this animated video available online now.

The video details some of the problems created by NCLB and describes President Barack Obama’s proposal to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and solve them. Written by a teacher at the U.S. Department of Education, the video offers a vision that strengthens teaching, narrows achievement gaps, raises standards, and prepares all students for colleges and careers in a global economy. It includes video clips of Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

Click here for an alternate version of the video with an accessible player.

View the video or leave a comment below.

Laurie Calvert
Laurie Calvert is a Washington Teaching Ambassador Fellow on loan from Buncombe County Schools in North Carolina and the author of the video. She is also the author of Built for Teachers: How the Blueprint for Reform Empowers Educators.


  1. I totally agree with the plan to engage all stakeholders in educating our scholars. In addition, because our scholars come to us on the average of a 5th grader; bringing those scholars up 2 to 3 grades up per year is success to me. Therefore, I agree using growth and data to measure a School’s success. Surely, this will make all accountable.
    Let’s move forward !

  2. School Counselors provide tremendous support to students, staff and families.
    Sometimes we really need to name the support staff that each school should have so that our communities know that often, school counselors who are also educators contribute and play a large role in making all of our students college and career ready as they progress in their education year-to-year. The video seems to have left out this group of educators who provide critical support to each student’s success in our educational system. It is easy to forget school counselors and thereby diminishing their supporting role to our students, staff and families when nothing is mentioned about them.

  3. Thank you for making sure that every stake holder is a participant in the growth of our young people. Let’s make it work!!!

  4. Everyone needs to take an ACTIVE role in educating all children. Hopefully, this stop the blame rhetoric that is being played out in the media.

  5. Dear Laurie, I am so impressed and delighted by your clear presentation of the President’s blueprint. I am sending a copy to everyone in my district. I know it took untold hours crafting the script and working with your graphic arts team. I greatly appreciate your efforts. Bravo!

  6. I was struck that the video referenced teachers, parents, schools, distrcits, states and students as responsible for student learning a number of times. As I was watching the video and listening to the proposed reform efforts, that called for effective teachers, effective principals, more flexibility in what teachers teach, changing the paradigm of a test culture to a more learning culture, better ways to retrive data, I waited with anticipation that it would say that teachers, chools, and great principals can’t do the job without the help of PARENTS. It mentioned at-risk students, ELL students and low-income students, but again it didn’t say anything about providing support to teach parents how they can help their kids achieve. The viseo also didn’t say anything about starting early, creating early childhood parent education startegies with government support, it didn’t bring up the fact that parents are their children’s first teachers and that many of the parents need the tools to carry out that responsiblity. I hope that the blueprint can add effective parents and the means to help parent become great partners with the schools, teachers and principals in closing the achievement gap and increasing graduation rates. We all know that great students also have knowledgeable and skilled parents pushing them.

  7. The video does a good job of presenting the contrast between NCLB and the new proposals. Generally, I am not only in agreement with the proposed changes, but have been saying since the inception of NCLB that the “stick” approach would not improve education, and that children taught only how to take bubble tests will come out of school being good only at taking bubble tests. I like the new emphasis on flexibility and appreciation for creativity. However, I was struck by the representation of the teacher as a white woman and the principal as an older white man. I would like to see the diversity of great teachers and great principals better represented. They come in all genders, ages, and races.

    • Absolutely! I’ve always said that an important component missing from NCLB was parental accountability.

  8. Very nicely done video that people who are not educators will clearly understand what has been happening if they watch this video. I will share on Facebook to get it out there. I have been an educator for 25 years preparing elementary teachers for constructivist, child-centered classrooms. Young teachers have been restrained from using innovative strategies and techniques they have been prepared to use because of the NCLB requirements in schools. Thank you again for this video for our teachers and students. It is a simply stated video to educate people.

  9. The video is very explicit. I will share it with district and school administrators, teachers and friends. Thank you for this video.

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