Children Are Left Behind

An Analysis of Special Needs Policies in the United States Since No Child Left Behind

  • Roksolana M. McVicar University of Ottawa
Keywords: No Child Left Behind Act, Race for the Top, Every Child Succeeds Act, Special Needs Education Policy




The purpose of this paper is to explore the impacts of centralized education policy in the United States on Special Education. The policies that will be examined within the article are federal education policies enacted from the Bush administration’s No Child Left Behind Act, 2001; to those enacted during the Obama administration; and finally those under consideration by President Trump. By examining the research done on the practical implications of the education policy, it is demonstrated that the policy initiatives to have better trained teachers; better access to the classroom; and funding necessary to allow students with special needs to succeed. This demonstrates that the policies that have been enacted in the last decade fall short of the practical implications discussed by education policy researchers such as Sindelar et al., Poetter et al., and Kirby.