The No Child Left Behind Act does more harm than good. All it is doing is making teachers teach kids just the basics to pass standardized tests and not learn anything else. This is going to hurt education in the long run because our kids are getting a much worse education.
I believe No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top have both been detrimental to public education in the United States as they over-emphasize testing, mandate countless new programs without the funding to support them, and generally undermine local decision-making. The federal government has no place in public education.
This act forcing standardized test on children can really be harmful for their development. It would be better to simply teach them in a better way rather than force these test that help non or very little. Most children find these test to be stressful, which added stress on a child is unhealthy for development as well.
Standardized tests are a poor representation of student learning. They are also frequently racially biased. Too often, students do poorly on the test due to test anxiety. It is harmful to people to have their learning misrepresented, to have to participate in biased assessment, and to go through unnecessary anxiety. Because the No Child Left Behind Act uses standardized testing to determine the progress of students, it is contributing to harm which overrides any good it might be doing.
This program seemed like a very good idea from the start, but what happened was that it basically fell apart. The USA was in a recession and allocating the needed money and resources to make the program successful didn't seem to happen. It should have been good, but wound up a disaster.