https://www.usnews.com/news/educati...ores-drop-in-math-and-reading-for-us-students Most interesting comment in this article: My answer: NCLB was passed in 2001. It really didn't start to get into place for a few years. My educated guess is that had not NCLB been passed, progress would have been better. NCLB solidified the whole minimalist education model, where students are primarily just taught reading and math to take a standardized test. This minimal education has resulted in stagnation, and a total disdain for learning by most students.