When No Child Left Behind was signed into law 2001, lawmakers knew that mandating 100% student proficiency in math and reading by 2014 was unrealistic. But they assumed that by 2009, at the latest, Congress would reform and re-authorize the law and in the process adjust some of it's unfeasible mandates.
Now it's 2011, and Congress has yet to update NCLB. This failure means that 80% of Americans schools will be designated as "failing" when school begins in a few weeks. On MSNBC, Dana Goldstein says that Congress has been unable to pass NCLB reform because the Tea Party has eroded the decade long bi-partisan consensus on education policy. For more from Goldstein and education reform, read her recent post, Matt Damon, Arne Duncan and the Divisive Teacher-Quality Debate.