In its short existence, No Child Left Behind, which was voted into existence in overwhelmingly bipartisan fashion, accomplished a lot. Girls and boys achieved parity in math for the first time in history, test scores for minorities went up across the board - but it had to die.

It mostly had to die because a Republican had signed it and President Obama, the successor to President Bush, dutifully honored the national teacher's unions once he realized how national politics works. Prior to a looming reelection he had been endorsed both merit pay and No Child Left Behind.

Its successor, because teachers said they do not like 'teaching to the test', are Common Core standards.  And they are taking education from flawed to worse.

New York’s 2013 High School Principal of the Year Carol Burris is not well-liked by education unions because she is critical of things we all know don't work; tenure for life, cronyism, unfair pay and, occasionally, outright incompetence among teachers. And that means being critical of the Common Core standards that everyone in Big Education says is awesome.

The problem for people in New York tasked with accountability in education is the New York Common Core Standard, which was written by the exact kind of bureaucratic committee that put education in such a state that it got John Boehner and Ted Kennedy on a stage together cheering that they had fixed it with No Child Left Behind. 

How did we create this mess? While teachers care about education, unions do not. And teachers turn a blind ethical eye to problems they are helping to create with union thuggery. In a desperate effort to not have to 'teach to the test' they have created a Frankenstein monster of teaching to the test. And they can't claim it isn't needed; first in line to criticize student performance on international standardized tests are teacher's unions and the Department of Education, in the quest for more funding.

We can only hope that the next president mimics this one and undoes the legislation by his predecessor he happens not like. Says Burris:
I am amused by all of the politicians and bureaucrats who love the Common Core and see it as the salvation of our nation. I suspect they are supporting standards that they have never studied. I wonder if they have ever read the details that ask first-graders to “compose and decompose plane and solid figures” and “to determine if equations of addition or subtraction are true or false.”
Well, it's okay, as long as it's not a Republican fixing education this way.

A ridiculous Common Core test for first graders - Washington Post