The No Child Left Behind Act requires that by 2005 each state must test students in grades 3 and 8 in language arts and mathematics; science knowledge must be added to the mix in 2007.

The scores must be broken down by ethnicity and race, for children with limited English proficiency, for children with disabilities and by family-income differences between states, districts and schools. States will then set standards for proficiency in mathematics and reading for each subgroup to meet within 12 years. There will also be requirements for annual improvements leading up to the 12-year deadline.

Schools that receive federal Title I funding will be subject to corrective action if they do not raise the test scores for each subject to the standards set by the state. Corrective measures can include staff changes as drastic as bringing an entirely new group of teachers and administrators while shuffling the old staff into other schools in the same district. Federal aid may be lost if a school fails to fill core academic classrooms with well-qualified teachers.