Claims Made in Favor of the Act

Introduces an element of accountability into public school education and the expenditure of public funds for education

Links State academic content standards with student outcomes.

Requires schools and districts to focus their attention on the academic achievement of traditionally under-served groups of children, such as low-income students, students with disabilities, and Blacks and Latinos. Many previous state-created systems of accountability only measured average school performance, allowing schools to be highly rated even if they had large achievement gaps between affluent and disadvantaged students.

Supports early literacy through the Early Reading First initiative.

Increases the quality of education. Schools are required to improve their performance under NCLB by implementing "scientifically based research" practices in the classroom, parent involvement programs, and professional development activities.

Establishes the foundation for schools and school districts to significantly enhance parental involvement and improved administration through the use of the assessment data to drive decisions on instruction, curriculum and business practices.

Measures student performance: a student's progress in reading and math must be measured annually in grades 3 through 8 and at least once during high school via standardized tests.

Emphasizes reading, writing, math and science achievement through a number of "core academic subjects" that include subjects as diverse as algebra and art.

Provides information for parents by requiring states and school districts to give parents detailed report cards on schools and districts explaining the school's AYP performance. Schools must also inform parents when their child is being taught by a teacher or para-professional who does not meet "highly qualified" requirements.

Gives options to students enrolled in schools failing to meet AYP. If a school fails to meet AYP targets two or more years running, the school must offer eligible children the chance to transfer to higher-performing local schools, receive free tutoring, or attend after-school programs.

Gives school districts the opportunity to demonstrate proficiency, even for subgroups that do not meet State minimum achievement (AYP) standards, through a process called "safe harbor," a precursor to growth-based or value-added assessments

Increases flexibility to state and local agencies in the use of federal education money.

Provides more resources to schools. Federal funding for education has increased 59.8% from 2000 to 2003.

Seeks to narrow class and racial gaps in school performance by creating common expectations for all.

Addresses widespread perceptions that public education results fall short of expectations.