NCLB does not make the choice of what subject matter will be taught
or what will be on the test (other than in broad terms, reading,
math, science). The states/districts/schools decide that. Even if
there was no test, the state/district still has a curriculum that
must be followed. State curriculums were around before NCLB. So
teachers haven't always had free reign with the curriculum. You can't
blame that on NCLB.
My state mandates other things that will be taught (pe, art, history,
computers) but aren't on the test.
So NCLB has forced schools to teach and test 4th graders at a 4th
grade level? I don't see that as a bad thing. As I said in another
post, if you are teaching a 4th grader at a 2nd grade level, and he
makes a B, is it fair to put on his transcript that he earned a B in
4th grade reading? I don't think so. He didn't earn a B in 4th grade
reading he earned a B in 2nd grade reading. If a student is in 12th
grade should he be allowed to be taught on a 7th grade reading level?
I don't think so. IMO, that is one of the reasons why we have NCLB. A
high school diploma didn't always mean the student knew hs material.
In AR, we are going to a growth model for AYP. Not "did the students
pass", but "did they show growth". So even if students aren't on
grade level, if they are showing growth, the school is doing ok.