2012 Student Research Conference:
25th Annual Student Research Conference

The Illusion of No Child
Charlotte E. Merrigan
Dr. Linda Seidel, Faculty Mentor

Nilaja Suns play No Child calls for reform of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and also shows that there is hope for the future of America's educational system. The children in the text attend Malcolm X High School in the Bronx, one of the poorest congressional districts in the nation. These students are directly affected by the misallocation of resources, pressure to meet high testing standards, and the lack of competent teachers in the system. Sun uses her art to get these points across. The students perform the Australian play Our Country's Good and realize that they are treated much like the prisoners in the play, rather than students. No Child's play-within-a-play structure forces the audience to learn about the flaws in NCLB along with the characters. Furthermore, it suggests that the teachers and students who know the educational situation best should make reforms to NCLB.

Keywords: No Child, Literary criticism, Reform, Education, Nilaja Sun, NCLB


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 110-1
Location: VH 1320
Time: 8:00

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