The No Child Left Behind Act, passed in 2001, is Federal legislation that holds schools accountable for student academic achievement. States must devise and offer tests in reading and math and offer them to every child in grades three through eight each year. This law goes into effect in Fall of 2005, but it already has schools scrambling to determine how they can comply with these sweeping mandates.
Here at The PoliteChild® we have long been saying that, while the No Child Left Behind Act is a wonderful piece of policy with valid points and noble goals, it fails in one critical area: Repeated studies have shown that up to 85% of a child's future success depends his or her social skills; that's more than academic achievement, economic background, family make-up, and the elusive "who you know" factors combined! No Child Left Behind certainly alludes to the importance of proper social conduct and character in adequately preparing students to learn in a classroom environment. The Act discusses the role parents play in ensuring children have the proper social values and skills necessary to succeed. However, it does not actually suggest any solutions to the widely-recognized problem of ill-mannered students that exists in our educational system.
The PoliteChild and its programs, which focus on building excellent social skills and good character traits, can assist schools in addressing the critical social component of student success. Social competence is one skill that should be available to any child, regardless of race, gender, culture, or economic status. Social skills are the true equalizer among people; good manners are free, courtesy and politeness are priceless! Everyone should have access to the sense of freedom and high self-esteem that true social comfort brings.
Focusing on developing strong social skills in ALL of our children is the best way to make certain that no child is left behind!