From IDEA Partnerships website

The 2001 Amendments of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act
On January 8, 2002, President Bush signed into law the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. The Act is the most sweeping reform of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) since ESEA was enacted in 1965. It redefines the federal role in K-12 education and will help close the achievement gap between disadvantaged and minority students and their peers.

No Child Left Behind (NCLB) redefines the federal role in K-12 public education, with an emphasis on closing the achievement gap that exists for educationally disadvantaged students. The information is collected, selected, and presented from the perspective of a unified education system and covers both general and special education. The law is grounded in four principles or pillars:

• Stronger accountability for results:
This concept includes Standards and Assessments, Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) and State Accountability Systems, Elements of the AYP Definition including Achievement Gap, AYP for Unique Schools, Definition of “Persistently Dangerous” Schools, Highly Qualified Teachers, and Evaluation of Qualified Paraprofessionals.

• Increased flexibility and local control:
States have great flexibility in the design of their systems and implementation of particular No Child Left Behind (NCLB) provisions. Presented as a checklist of items, states considered many issues when designing accountability systems, providing options for parents and defining highly qualified teachers. This pillar incorporates Local Control & Flexibility, Creating Safer Schools and Faith-Based & Community Efforts.

• Expanded options for parents:
Under No Child Left Behind, students attending schools that need improvement must be given the opportunity to transfer to a better-performing public school in the school district or to a high-quality charter school in the area. In addition, supplemental educational services, such as after-school tutoring or academic summer camps, must be made available to students from low-income families who attend schools that have been in need of improvement for more than a year.
This pillar incorporates Getting Students Help, School Choice, and Supporting Charter Schools.

• Proven education methods
Under No Child Left Behind, federal support is targeted to those educational programs that have been demonstrated to be effective through rigorous scientific research. Reading First is such a program. Programs and practices grounded in scientifically based research are not fads or untested ideas; they have proven track records of success. This concept includes Doing What Works, Reading, Math Achievement, Science Achievement, English Fluency, and Good Teachers.

Click on the NCLB site map for quick navigation.

The Law — Overview
Sub-Topic: Assessment — Overview
Sub-Topic: Accountability — Overview
Sub-Topic: Highly Qualified Personnel — Overview
Sub-Topic: Family Involvement — Overview
Sub-Topic: ESEA Reauthorization