Foundations and Assessment of Education/Edition 1/Foundations Table of Contents/Sample Wiki Article 1

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Educational Milestones of the 21st Century
by Stacy Thurber
  1. Introduction
  2. Technology
  3. No Child Left Behind
  4. The Voucher Debate
  5. Test Your Knowledge
  6. Sources
  7. Answers
Learning Targets
Technology is not all fun and games there are some serious issues that are associated with it.
No Child Left Behind may be frustrating, but it has some good effects.
Schools Vouchers; Help or Hindrance, you decide...


Just as our lives have changed over the years, education has as well. In the beginning, all children were educated together in little one room school houses. Eventually that was changed to two separating our children based on the grade level that we perceived them to be at. Children were once even separated based on the color of their skin. Today we have moved past all of that and the latest trend in education is moving our children into learning based on 21st century skills instead of 20th century skills. Since the year 2000 there have been numerous changes that have been implemented towards making these improvements in our education system possible, including the No Child Left Behind Law and improvements in technology education for students and teachers as well.

The question now arises as to whether our children will be able to stand up and succeed in this new and ever changing world. I feel that given many of the recent changes that have happened that they will not only succeed, but they will excel and at the same time teach the teachers a few things along the way.

"The Economy is Global

Market Competition is fierce

Businesses innovate

Technology advances

Workplaces adapt

Individuals create and participate

Jobs and lives change."(21st Century skills 2008)


The days where if you had a P.C. you were considered cool are gone. Today it is becoming more and more commonplace to use technology to teach our students. However, one of the most difficult tasks for most teachers, is how can you teach with technology if they themselves do not know how to use the applications. The answer is simple, teach the teachers through workshops or by sending them back to school. Once the teachers have been properly instructed on how to use technology in the classroom, the real teaching can begin. There is still one question that persists, how can technology best be used in the classroom? In today's day and age there are numerous applications that can be used including but not limited to, the internet, united streaming, PowerPoint, Webquests, etc. All of these applications if used correctly can make learning come alive for the student, making it cool to stay awake rather to sleep in class during the lesson. However, there is one problem that seems to be becoming more and more prevalent in our school systems today and that is a lack of funding. According to board members attending the National School Boards Association, "shortfalls in state budgets, coupled with pessimistic predictions about local revenues, are forcing them to look for ways to trim next school year’s budgets and educational technology programs could be among the casualties. In fact leaner school budgets could slam ed-tech programs nationwide. Nevada is one of the many states that will likely see cuts in ed-tech funding."(Nagel, 2007) Basically many teachers are forced to fend for themselves when it comes to integrating technology into the classroom. Will this ever change? I am sure that it will, but as with everything, you sometimes have to give up something in order to get something else, which means that our elected officials will have to decide what is more important our students being prepared for work in the 21st century or only having the basic skills that are required of them by state and national standards, only time will tell what will happen.

“Technology in education or instruction is more than the technical application of tools, machines, computers, products and communication systems (such as multimedia, computerized instruction, games, simulations or interactive video).” (Wikibooks, 2007)

“It also encompasses the "application of the principles of science in order to solve learning problems..." (Seels, 1994

No Child Left Behind

In 2001, President George W. Bush passed the No Child Left Behind Law. According to the United States Department of Education website the NCLB "is built on four principles: accountability for results, more choices for parents, greater local control and flexibility, and an emphasis on doing what works based on scientific research."(U. S. Department of Education-No Child Left Behind, 2008) For many new teachers in Virginia the most frustrating thing that has been created as a result of the NCLB is the Standards Of Learning, or the SOL's. One of the reasons that many new teachers feel frustrated by the SOL's is that there is more pressure to teach to the test. However, after reading the four pillars a little bit closer a greater understanding of the good that can come from the NCLB should be realized.

Stronger Accountability for Results

"Under No Child Left Behind, states are working to close the achievement gap and make sure all students, including those who are disadvantaged, achieve academic proficiency. Annual state and school district report cards inform parents and communities about state and school progress. Schools that do not make progress must provide supplemental services, such as free tutoring or after-school assistance; take corrective actions; and, if still not making adequate yearly progress after five years, make dramatic changes to the way the school is run." (...)

More Freedom for States and Communities "Under No Child Left Behind, states and school districts have unprecedented flexibility in how they use federal education funds. For example, it is possible for most school districts to transfer up to 50 percent of the federal formula grant funds they receive under the Improving Teacher Quality State Grants, Educational Technology, Innovative Programs, and Safe and Drug-Free Schools programs to any one of these programs, or to their Title I program, without separate approval. This allows districts to use funds for their particular needs, such as hiring new teachers, increasing teacher pay, and improving teacher training and professional development." (...)

Proven Education Methods

"No Child Left Behind puts emphasis on determining which educational programs and practices have been proven effective through rigorous scientific research. Federal funding is targeted to support these programs and teaching methods that work to improve student learning and achievement. In reading, for example, No Child Left Behind supports scientifically based instruction programs in the early grades under the Reading First program and in preschool under the Early Reading First program." (...)

More Choices for Parents

"Parents of children in low-performing schools have new options under No Child Left Behind. In schools that do not meet state standards for at least two consecutive years, parents may transfer their children to a better-performing public school, including a public charter school, within their district. The district must provide transportation, using Title I funds if necessary. Students from low-income families in schools that fail to meet state standards for at least three years are eligible to receive supplemental educational services, including tutoring, after-school services, and summer school. Also, students who attend a persistently dangerous school or are the victim of a violent crime while in their school have the option to attend a safe school within their district."(U. S. Department of Education-No Child Left Behind, 2008)

It is a fact that many people find change hard to deal with, but in the long run changing the way we educate our children can only lead to great things.

The Voucher Debate

Currently one of the most controversial topics within the field of education is the discussion over whether or not school vouchers should be used. Most who are against the idea of school vouchers claim that it is unconstitutional. They claim that parents will turn around and use the money given to them to help fund a religious education for their children. This idea sounds sort of ridiculous because as most people know there should be a separation of church and state. On the other side of the issue are those who feel school vouchers will be extremely beneficial to those presently in the school system, and future members of the school system as well. The advocates for school vouchers say that the funds will be in the hands of the parents and that they can do with the money as they please. This in turn takes the state completely out of the picture hence there is no more concern that the notion of separation of church and state will get messed with in any way shape or form. Since this is such a controversial topic, discussion about it will probably be ongoing, but who knows a compromise might be in plans for the future in that respect only time will tell.(Ediger, 2004).

Test Your Knowledge

1) Which of the following applications is NOT used in the classroom?

a) PowerPoint

b) Darpanet

c) United Streaming

d) Internet

2)What are the four principles of No Child Left Behind?

a) Technology, NCLB, the internet and testing

b) Love, loyalty, friendship and understanding

c) Accountability for Results, more freedom for States and Communities, Proven Education Methods, and more choices for parents

d) testing, testing, testing and more testing

3) Under NCLB parents of students in under-preforming schools can transfer their children to a better performing public school in their district. How many years does a parent have to wait to make this change?

a) 5 years

b) 2 years

c) 0 years, there is no time limit on the time frame that a parent has to transfer their child to another school.

d) parents can only transfer their students to a different school once that student has graduated from that particular school.

4) Mary and her mother live in the East End of West Chester, an area that has a high crime rate and poorly performing schools. Next year will be Mary's first year of high school and her mother who only wants the best for her daughter fears that Mary will not live up to her potential. Mary's mother desperately wants to see her daughter succeed. Of the choices below which is the best advice to give to Mary's mother?

a) There is really nothing to tell Mary's mother.

b) Mary's mother needs to look into getting a loan for a private school. Private schools are proven to be the best educational institutions for our children.

c) Mary's mother needs to inquire about the School Voucher Program.

d) Mary's mother needs sell the place where they are currently living and buy either a house or an apartment in a better school district.

5) Rob's teacher is extremely old fashioned and only gives old fashioned lectures where he talks and the students copy down what he is saying. Lately Rob has been skipping his class in order because he is getting bored with just writing down notes everyday. Rob really wants to incorporate some aspect of technology into the period, not only would it be beneficial to him, but to his classmates as well. Of the following choices which is the best way for him to go about getting his goal accomplished?

a) Start a discussion with his teacher about the benefits of using technology in the classroom.

b) Schedule a meeting with the principal and ask him to instruct the teacher to start using technology or else he will take legal action.

c) Start a discussion with the teacher where you proceed to tell the teacher how old and stupid that he is that he has not caught up with the times.

d) Bring your little sister/brother to class and show your teacher what they know in an effort make him feel belittled.


1) Ediger, Marlow (2004). Vouchers and the public schools. College Student Journal, December, 2003. Retrieved June 3, 2008.

2) Nagel, D. (2007). Groups Resond to Proposed EETT Cuts. The Journal .)

3) 21st century skills. (2008, March). Retrieved May 31, 2008, from

4) U. S. Department of Education-No Child Left Behind. (2008, June 2). Retrieved June 2, 2008, from

5) Wikibooks. (2007, April). Retrieved May 31, 20087, from Wikibooks:


1) correct answer: b

2) correct answer: c

3) correct answer: b

4) correct answer: c

5) correct answer: a