Rhetorical Analysis of “Evaluating ‘No Child Left Behind’” When reading the 2007 article by education expert Linda Darling- Hammond called “Evaluating ‘No Child Left Behind’”, Darling- Hammond goes into depth and criticizes just how much the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) accomplished in five years. The author begins by using a neutral and agreeable tone with how the law was supposed to be “a victory for American children”. She also genuinely acknowledges that the notoriously known NCLB Act initially brought high hopes for us Americans to have a sophisticated and reformed education system for our children.
But almost just as fast as she agrees that the law was intended for good, she gets right to her point that she opposes the law by using much of logos and connects pathos and ethos along the lines. Darling-Hammond uses logos very strongly and acknowledges that the NCLB Act was created to help American children succeed educationally. She doesn’t fully bash the law without implementing clear ideas and alternatives as to what the government should consider to do next in order to effectively make our education system stronger after her criticisms’. She asks the rhetorical question, “What happened? Not only does this tell us that she was baffled with the outcome of what came to be of this law, but that clearly, it took a complete180 degree turn from what she and others thought it would. She says, “ …high-profile Republicans are expressing their disenchantment with the NCLB, while many newly elected democrats are seeking a major overhaul as well. ” She purposely wrote this to show that many people- regardless of political party- are not in favor of this law. What Darling- Hammond claims is that the NCLB Act backfired and left more negative effects schools than positive ones.
She expresses that “… the law has been protested by more than twenty states and dozens of school districts that have voted to resist specific provisions. ” Clearly stating that despite all these protests, it is still continuing without true positive outcomes or benefits. She is very firm throughout the article and believes that the government must make and appeals to the reader in trying to bring reasonable and realistic options because the “100 percent proficiency by 2014” is in no way realistic in her opinion and that “85 to 99 percent” of schools are considered to be failing”. Paying off “Educational debt” is ultimately the answer in which Darling-Hammond believes will begin to assure that schools are be more “productive” because there would be more curriculums to be offered and better programs for students. She also believes in “equal funds” going into all schools-most especially for the schools that need it the most, taking this idea from “achieving countries” that have successfully done this. Throughout the article, Darling- Hammond also expresses pathos, but she does so while still being logical and reasonable.
She openly admits the “NCLB contains some major breakthroughs” and that “flagging differences in student performance by race and class, it shines a spotlight on longstanding inequalities and could trigger attention to the needs of students neglected in many schools. ” By saying this and shortly expressing her short-lived praise for the act, she is absolutely appealing to the reader’s emotion and even giving some of her personal feelings on the law. One of the harsh truths that Darling- Hammond expresses very openly is that the ultimately to her, the real problem in education is racial inequality.
She lists and focuses on what “minority” students do not have that their “suburban” counterparts do. She writes that in more than twenty- five states, “low- income students of color “ go to a school with “crumbling facilities, overcrowded classrooms, out-of-date textbooks, no science labs, no art or music courses and a revolving door of untrained teachers” all while other “white” students have all those resources to a point where it is almost unnecessary due to their “fewer needs”.
She reminds us about the unequal and unfair distribution of resources for students of color in America and that unfortunately, problems with race and poverty are still an issue. Darling- Hammond additionally gives off a great understanding of the NCLB Act, as she is a person in the educational field, which makes her extremely credible for talking about this topic. She has also been following the act since President George Bush approved it. She also writes very formally and articulately, but the reader is able to follow along with her points and her suggestions on repealing the act.
She also makes a valid point that more money was being spent on the war with Iraq than on education. Of course, spending it on education would have been more beneficial for our students because about “40,00 teachers” would have been able to be “qualified” due to properly teach students due to “high-quality preparation. Darling-Hammond’s article on the No Child Left Behind Act shows logic, pathos, and ethos. She is, however, a writer that understands the opposing view and thinks very reasonably and looks at the bigger picture throughout her article.
She wants to make it absolutely definite that the reader understands that if we continue with the act the way that we are, “Students will not learn at higher levels without the benefit of good teaching, a strong curriculum and adequate resources. ” It is no secret that our children are struggling with the educational system and something needs to be done about it. Work Cited Darling- Hammond, Linda. “Evaluating ‘No Child Left Behind’ | The Nation. ” The Nation 21 May 2007: 1-5. CQ Researcher. Web. 12 Mar. 2013.
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