Earlier than many, my school was faced with the challenges of meeting the requirements of NCLB. The policies that are in place at the state level to support the mandates from the Federal Government have at times been difficult for me to comprehend. However, my recent understanding how policy is developed and of why the USDOE has so much power over a local DOE has been deepened. Through my years of schooling, I had always been taught that schools were under the jurisdiction of the state. However, when enormous sums of money are involved the Federal Government has a lot more to say about how states run their schools. In many respects, we report directly to the VADOE instead of the district because federal funding has been invested in our ability to become and sustain success. As with any mandate, there are two components; 1) the requirements that must be met and 2) the punishments if the requirements are not met. I know both components much better than I thought I would. I now clearly understand the VADOE is not picking on us, they are following the mandates of the legislation.