Teachers' voices: the impact of the No Child Left Behind on teachers' working lives

The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is President George W. Bush's reform plan for improving American's education system and insuring all students have an opportunity to high quality of instruction. This study draws on the experiences of ten public school teachers working at elementary and middle-schools in the North County San Diego area to better understand how the NCLB is impacting teachers' everyday working lives. This qualitative study uses in-depth interviews to shed light on the lived experiences of teachers, it discusses strategies teachers use to implement mandated reform in the classroom and it examines the perceptions teachers have about the success and failures of the NCLB. Findings from this study reveal that teachers hold ambivalent views; there are some aspects of the NCLB that teachers appear to appreciate and support but there are some mandates that create stress and angst in their everyday working lives. I found that teachers appear to support the consistency the NCLB brings to their positions through accountability and guidelines, but the unrealistic expectation that all students will reach specified achievement targets creates angst and stress in their daily working lives. Keywords: No Child Left Behind, Education Reform, Education Policy, Teacher Perceptions, Teacher Strategies