Suppose we found out that a local hospital cured only 97% of its patients who had skin cancer. What would we do? Close it down because it had failed with 3%? Transfer out the staff and tell the patients to go find another hospital? Of course not. We would celebrate that hospital for the good that it does and be thankful it did as well as it did.
Suppose we found out that a local prison rehabilitated only 97% of its inmates who had committed non-fatal felonies. What would we do? Close it down because it had failed with 3%? Transfer out the staff and ship the prisoners to some other prison? Of course not. We would celebrate that prison for the good that it does and be thankful it did as well as it did.
But what are we supposed to do with public schools who fail to teach 3% of its students sufficient math or English? According to federal law, we are to close them down or replace their staff, destroying the relationships and support that have been successful with 97% of its students. Then we scatter the kids to the four winds, disregarding their sorrow at having lost friends, teachers and other adults who are crucial to their well-being.
What kind of people write laws like this? Do they have children? Or is it more likely that these law-makers send their kids to schools, parochial and private, that are exempt from the demands that public schools are subjected to?
To examine these issues further, see No Child Left Behind: An analysis of the controversy