‘Rebranding’ No Child Left Behind

Eduwonk’s contest to rename No Child Left Behind got a boost from the New York Times.

The civil rights leader Marian Wright Edelman took the high road, suggesting it be called the Quality Education for All Children Act. But a lot of wise guys have gotten in on the act too, with suggestions like the All American Children Are Above Average Act.

“The Act to Help Children Read Gooder” has a ring to it.

Bush took the phrase “no child left behind” from Edelman.

About Joanne


  1. Jeez, 1/3 of fourth graders can’t read or are below basic and the Department of Education is spending energy on a program name! Yep, just what I’ve come to expect, “Form over Substance.”

  2. Heh, sounds like a play on “The Derek Zoolander Center For Kids Who Can’t Read Good and Wanna Learn to Do Other Stuff Good Too” from the movie Zoolander.

  3. Jeez, 1/3 of fourth graders can’t read or are below basic and the Department of Education is spending energy on a program name! Yep, just what I’ve come to expect, “Form over Substance.”

    I’d prefer to see the whole thing scrapped, but if you want to keep it, even in altered form, you need to rename it. And yes, branding matters.

  4. Derek Zoolander for Secretary of Education!

    I also think calling it the “All Children Above Average Act!” does make a point.

  5. There is something wrong with it for sure cause not all are supportive of this Act. So it’s not just re-branding, it should be reviewing, rethinking, rewriting before anything else. The name of the act doesn’t matter it’s the effectiveness of the implementation that counts.

  6. JoAndrew:

    Normally, I would be in agreement–stick to the substance and don’t worry about the name. However, in this case, there has been such an extreme effort to discredit the legislation, trumpeting it as the root cause of all that is evil, that I think that it will be easier to change the name than to dispel the mythology. Who, for instance, amongst the stakeholder public has any idea what ESEA stands for, or knows that it was NCLB’s predecessor–essentially providing similar funding for similar things (money to improve the lot of low-income kids, using a standards-based system, including tests to measure achievement)–but without sanctions. Who in that same crowd could identify Title I as being the funding source–dating back to Johnsons and the 1960s–that long sought to do the same thing, with accountability only for providing inputs (reading programs, extra teachers, and the like).

    Yet many people are be able to recite that No Child Behind makes kids with disabilities who don’t know how to tie their shoes and dress themselves yet take grade level reading and math tests (it does not); or that No Child Left Behind means that schools are not allowed to hold children back (again, untrue), or that No Child Left Behind requires that teachers lose their jobs, or that schools lose their funding. I read a lot of adults who recount the terrible pressure placed on children by the tests. Oddly–I never hear this from children, although there are many who have learned the chant quite well by the time they are in high school, and advocate for attendance as the primary graduation requirement and deem “walking with their class” to be an event that has life-long implications for them (particularly if they are not able to do so).

    I don’t have a big problem with reviewing, and possibly revising the content. I do think, however, that in the process, it would be important to read and understand the current content.

  7. I think Derek Zoolander would really get a kick out of using the technology we have today to educate his kids that can’t read good 🙂

    Children today need to be mentored and excited about their futures, whatever they may be. I liked this video on education http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDfew0YcDTo that shows kids the different opportunities they have today. Really interesting and exactly what we’re talking about here.
    “All Children Above Average!”

    Azahar (EducationDynamics)