[caption id="attachment_89478" align="alignleft" width="215" caption="Critics of the bill say states were free for decades to set their own goals, but they failed to narrow achievement gaps between students of different races and income groups."][/caption]

The first comprehensive, bipartisan attempt to overhaul the federal No Child Left Behind Act would change the law's accountability system dramatically, focus attention on so-called dropout factories, and support teachers. Yet, already some advocacy groups have voiced concerns—which begs the question: Could an NCLB rewrite ever please everyone?

The bill was introduced by Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, chairman of the...

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