NCLB has been one of the biggest mistakes in public education since prayer was removed. It was written in a vacuum by people who hadn't stepped into a school of any kind since boys wore short pants. The first NCLB had so many contradictions with the special education law IDEA that special ed teachers didn't know which one to follow because they are both federal. It took a few years for the discrepancies in NCLB to be changed to come into line with IDEA. What has resulted in the 12 years since it was enacted is less time for teachers to interact meaningful with students, less time for students to demonstrate mastery of content in genuine and honest ways and a generation (by school years) of students who have been standardized tested near to death. I haven't seen anything like it since the 1980's. As a matter of fact I left teaching in part because of this law. I was being forced to teach at the bottom two levels of Bloom's Taxonomy (google it for more information) when I was taught during my educator preparation to always shoot for the top two. If you research it, you'll understand why it is so important. Bottom level learning will produce workers unable to compete in a global economy. Tear it up, burn it, and allow teachers to go back to what they do best - teaching their respective disciplines in a relaxed and enjoyable setting and then you will know how well they do their jobs by how far up Bloom's the students reach
No Child Left Behind has led to some of the worst education programs in the last twenty years. One of the worst consequences of the Act is its focus on test scores to determine school funding. By focusing only on test scores, schools have reduced their curriculum to only those subjects represented on tests and removing such non-essentials as art and music.
We do need to have a standardized way of judging the effectiveness of our school programs. If we didn't have that lazy school districts could just be giving sub standard education to students and the students would be disadvantaged because of that. The No Child Left Behind Act ties public funding to schools based on performance and serves to pinpoint those schools that are under performing. School districts and teachers do need to have some feedback on the quality of education they are giving, otherwise students would be at their mercy.
No Child Left Behind is a great program and we should keep it. It is one of the best things that has happened to education in a long time. There should be many more things cut or ended before No Child Left Behind. It has helped millions of students and should be kept.