The 2002 federal No Child Left Behind law was designed to raise education standards across the country by punishing schools that fail to make all kids proficient in math and reading. But the law allows each state to chart its own course in meeting those objectives. The result, according to a Gannett News Service analysis of test scores, is that many states have taken the safe route, keeping standards low and fooling parents into believing their kids are prepared for college and work.
Interactive map: Compare national, state scores
5 years after education law took effect, problems remain
States get creative in minimizing law's impact
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Replace 100 percent proficiency with realistic goals
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And this from the New York Times.