Although No Child Left Behind (NCLB) had admirable goals, it has actually resulted in dumbing down the American education system. According to the test rankings from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), American students' rankings in math, science, and reading continue to decline. Additionally, a Department of Education study reveals that nearly one third of the states have lowered their proficiency standards in recent years in order to stay ahead of sanctions under the NCLB law. The implementation of NCLB has lowered American public education standards by focusing on test preparation, altering teacher methodologies, and disengaging American students from learning.
NCLB was enacted in 2002 in order that all students be exposed to the same academic content and measured by the same standards. Before this law, standards for students with disabilities, students from minority groups, English language learners, and students from lower socioeconomic classes were measured by lower proficiency standards. An "A" student attending LAUSD was not academically equal to an "A" student attending public school in Palos Verdes Estates. The academic standards between states also differed. It was the goal of NCLB to equalize education. Under the NCLB law, all schools were required to bring 100 percent of students to the proficient level on states' reading and math tests by 2014. Sanctions such as cuts in funding and state intervention continue to be a couple of consequences if a school failed to reach its rising annual academic testing target. This made standardized, bubble in, multiple choice learning a priority in the American public school system. .
Educators motivated by impending sanctions imposed on those with low-test scores have tailored their instruction to match the test; they have lowered student expectations and narrowed down the school curriculum to the subject matter on the test.