One is the incredible assertion that all students should be proficient at math and reading. Absolutely nothing exists at which everyone is proficient. Some people are always at the top of the scale, some people are always at the bottom, and the majority fall somewhere in-between.
As some of those at the forum noted, the goal should be to see steady improvement in each person, something that may occur even among schools that are being characterized as failing:
Also mentioned is a sort of conspiracy theory that I have no problem believing since it is easy to trace its growth through campaign contributions and lobbyists' actions: Though the original intent of No Child Left Behind is laudable, NCLB is being used as a tool by those who support educational vouchers, many of whom are now in charge of the Missouri General Assembly:
Though Congress enacted NCLB with bipartisan support, some might not have foreseen the negative consequences, said Peggy Placier, a professor with the University of Missouri-Columbia's education and policy department. However, she noted the existence of a "conspiracy theory," in which those who support vouchers and school choice intentionally set public schools up to fail.
No Child Left Behind is a program that is doomed to fail. As long as there are students who simply do not care, and parents who do not care, you can have a highly qualified teacher in every classroom in the United States and still have children who are left behind.
The entire concept of No Child Left Behind is flawed. It makes it sound as if somewhere along the line, we decided, "Hey, let's leave some of these children behind." The successful education of every student has always been the goal of classroom teachers and administrators. To suggest otherwise is an insult and a lie.