Lewis writes in her February 2003 article that under the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act "high-quality teachers are good test takers - but not necessarily anything more" (Lewis 2003). She goes on stating that under NCLB, what a teacher is all about comes down to the performance on a single test (Lewis 2003). Anne Lewis is a teacher who is active in Phi Delta Kappan, which is a teacher society. She is writing this article to be published in a monthly journal produced by Phi Delta Kappan. She speaks on behalf of teachers who feel "their professional competence is being defined as a test score" to legislators and then general public. Her goal is to persuade legislators to modify or even remove existing laws.
She begins by describing what exactly entailed in the NCLB Act. In it, elementary teachers must pass a "rigorous" state test in all subject matter in order to get certified. Middle and Highschool teachers must have at minimum a major in each academic area he or she is teaching and pass a rigorous state test to become certified. Current teachers must meet these requirements by 2006 (Lewis 2003).
There are three major points given to support changing the NCLB act. The first being that all these new provisions cost money, and most states are already underfunded in both teacher salary and programs to prepare teachers. The provisions include funding to create, publish, and administor the test, the cost to help teachers meet these requirements, and the cost to employ overseers to ensure the tests are conducted in a "scientific manner"(Lewis 2003).
The second claim is that defining competence by a test score causes "some of the joy, the challenge, and the feeling of belonging to a profession go away"(Lewis 2003). She goes on to say there are more dimensions to teaching then knowing the facts. These include understanding how students learn, designing compelling assignments, coaching students until they get those "aha" moments, and working with other teachers(Lewis 2003).