No Child Left Behind, supposedly an antidote to the "soft bigotry of low expectations," has instead spawned lowered standards. The law will eventually be reauthorized because doubling down on losing bets is what Washington does. But because NCLB contains incentives for perverse behavior, reauthorization should include legislation empowering states to ignore it.
This, by the way, is more ammunition for those of us who remember life before the Department of Education and would like to see it abolished. Though I believe that the way to make sure most children don't get left behind is one-on-one instruction in their homes, I also believe that if we're going to have public (and mandatory) education, the control of that education needs to remain in local hands, as close as possible to the end users...
Getting Past 'No Child'