Perceptions of educators and parents of the effects of NCLB on students with disabilities

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 was signed into law in an effort to reduce the educational achievement gap in America. One of the most important goals of the law is to have 'all' students in the public school system at grade level in math and reading by the year 2014. The spirit of the law appears to encompass the learning and educational development for each student. However, the letter of the law and the terminology used do not appear to actually include all students. Many believe that the law is discriminatory for various groups of students including students with disabilities. The law doesn't appear to take into consideration the various levels of disabilities i.e. mild, moderate, and/or severe. This thesis explores the perception of educators (administrators, general educator and special educators) and parents on NCLB and its influence or affects on students with disabilities. The diversity of perceptions by these groups may contribute to how students with disabilities are regarded with respect to access to an equitable public education. The results indicate a need for clarification of the terminology used in the law, as well as in-service training that involve parents and educators. Key words: No Child Left Behind Act, children with disabilities, perceptions