This post has a lot to say. Yes, there are other, better, ways to improve education in the U.S. besides NCLB.
Also, from Gerald Bracey, "BILL GATES, IF YOU’RE SO RICH, HOW COME YOU’RE NOT SMART?" "I do congratulate you for focusing some attention on economically deprived schools. Alas, you and the governors appear to think that school reform can, all by itself overcome their problems. But poor students arrive at school behind their middle class peers. As measured by tests, they learn the same amount during the school year, but lose the gains over the summer, leaving them farther behind. You and the governors should look for ways to eliminate the factors that cause poor children to lose ground during the months when the schools are closed." Fat Chance.
And from the Albuquerque Tribune a commentary, Why Testing Fails. "Testing, or what politicians deem "accountability," has run amok in our schools...The tests that are being imposed on students are not tools educators can use to guide instruction. They are used to rank schools, and because there are so many flaws to the one-size-fits-all assessment, they are inaccurate tools. While standardized testing is one piece of assessment we can use to reflect on education, testing should not dominate the educational process...Accountability in its current form is destroying education. Education is the backbone of democracy. We can use assessment to guide instruction, and education, when properly implemented, can lessen achievement gaps. We have data from recent decades. Why are we ignoring data and subjecting our children to this scrutiny that does not produce accurate and usable information? Citizens, speak up."