Eric Louèrs Phillips
Elementary Social Studies Curriculum Specialist for Frederick County Public Schools, Maryland
Middle States Council for Social Studies (2014 Collins-Skinner Award Winner for Outstanding S.S. Leadership and Instruction)
191 South East Street – Frederick, MD 21701
240.529.4443 or 301.644.5271
Background: Federal Laws Impact on Instruction
No Child Left Behind required states to annually assess student’s academic growth by placing more accountability on Pre-Kindergarten – 12th grade public institutions of education. States were required to assess student growth in the areas of reading and math for students in grades 3 – 8, science only had to be assessed once in elementary school and once in middle school.Legislation was proposed, then passed by both the House and Senate, in less than a month, and signed into law on January 8, 2002. The proposed legislation was the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Act, better known as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001. In short, the purpose of NCLB was to guarantee every child a public education provided by a highly qualified teacher able to meet the varied needs of all students in their classroom.
Although an assessment was only required for three of the four core contents elementary school teachers were still expected to teach four core contents: English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies.
The lack of an elementary state mandated Social Studies assessment led to less effective instruction in the content or no instruction at all. That is what stopped.