In this article Marilyn Cochran-Smith and Susan Lytle offer a critique of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) related to the implications for teachers in educational improvement. Through an analysis of the NCLB legislation and accompanying policy tools that support it, the authors explore three images or central common conceptions symbolic of basic attitudes and orientations about teachers and teaching that are explicit or implicit in NCLB: images of knowledge, images of teachers and teaching, and images of teacher learning. The authors argue that NCLB leaves teachers void of agency and oversimplifies the process of teacher learning and practice. Furthermore, NCLB undermines the broader democratic mission of education, narrows curriculum, and exercises both technical and moralistic control over teachers and teaching. They conclude by sketching a richer framework for teaching that embraces its myriad complexities and acknowledges teachers' agency, activism, and leadership in generating local knowledge.

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