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Both my parents are veteran educators (teachers, then administrators) in a tough urban school district in the Midwest, and they both laud No Child Left Behind not because it helps children directly, but because it's the only "objective" information available that can be politically wielded to attack known underperforming schools and employees. Administrators are often too well aware how terrible their schools, teachers, and students are, and NCLB testing doesn't tell them anything that they didn't already know. Instead, the tests are acceptable "objective measurements" to blame to make decisions that the administration knew had to be made anyway. That way, it's "the test's fault" instead of the fault of the administrator. Before NCLB, there was nothing to blame, and so hard decisions couldn't be made because it was politically impossible to do so.