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No Child Left Behind is a law passed in 2002 that seeks to improve the academic performance of kids in the U.S. The goal is for all children to achieve proficiency in math, language arts, and science by the year 2014. NCLB requires states to test each child for basic skills and to prove proficiency in order to receive federal funding. Standards are set by each individual state, rather than at a national level.
There has been quite a bit of controversy over the effectiveness of NCLB. For example, some people point to improved test scores as signs of its success, while others are unhappy with the emphasis placed on standardized tests. Regardless of your opinion, NCLB is here to stay (at least for the time being). Below, I've included a link to an article that gives a little more detail on the subject.