Argument: No Child Left Behind encourages states to set low standards
Ryan, J. "The Perverse Incentives of No Child Left Behind Act." July 2, 2004 - "the Act unintentionally encourages states to lower their academic standards. [...] The requirement that an increasing percentage of students in every school achieve a certain test score each year is arbitrary and unrealistic, in that it establishes achievement goals without any reference to past achievement levels or rates of achievement growth. Many schools, including some that are considered effective, will be unable to meet these achievement targets. This will create pressure to make the targets easier to meet by dumbing down the tests or making scoring systems more generous. By this process, a law intended to raise academic standards may lower them."