One thing is for sure, without No Child Left Behind, with all its warts, we would not be nearly as focused on education in general, and poor/black children specifically, as we are now. Having acknowledged the laws' impact on the "focus" on education, it will never "fix" education. In my view, there will always be some degree of inequity present as well. However, the inequality should not be "government" driven. Local school district and/or state financing mechanisms should not discriminate against children simply as a result of their zip code.
In addition, I feel so strongly that improved performance within the poor and/or black communities will be driven mainly from within those communities. You can not legislate "desire and motivation." You can facilitate those traits, but you can not create them. The creation of "desire and motivation" come from deep within us. It will take a mass movement nationwide to get that message out, and thus tap into the real power to excel.
Until then, we can tinker with this and other legislation as long as it makes us feel good, but it will not generate improved and sustainable academic outcomes. Your thoughts?
Improving No Child Left Behind - NYTimes.com