Motoko Rich's latest NYT piece isn't really focused on NCLB sanctions but rather the political standoff between Washington State officials and the Obama administration over use of test scores to help evaluate teachers.
Still, NCLB sanctions are the only real-world impact of the fact that Washington State schools are still operating under the original NCLB -- the only reason anyone cares, really -- and the exaggerations and misundertandings of that law are in many ways a precedent for the current confusions/criticisms surrounding Common Core.
So it's worth reminding everyone what NCLB did and din't require.
Specifically, the law didn't require "private" tutoring for schools not making AYP repeatedly. It required tutoring provided by someone other than the school, including nonprofits, community groups, commercial tutoring companies, and sometimes even school districts (like Chicago, which received a federal waiver to provide tutoring to non-AYP schools).*
Whether or not the tutoring was top-notch, many schools and districts lined up against it because it meant that someone else was teaching their kids (and possibly doing a better job) and that they got slightly less federal funding than in the past under their control. Some districts and students responded ungenerously, by making their own students travel to other locations for tutoring rather than making arrangements for in-school delivery.
What NCLB *did* do, among other things, was require annual reading and math tests for schools receiving federal education funding, and require districts to test all students and report out data based on subgroups, and severely limit the use of non-certified aides and out-of-field teachers who were often assigned to low-income children and paid for with federal funding. It also encouraged federal lawmakers to increase Title I funding substantially, in order to help pay for things like extra tutoring that students at schools that weren't doing right by poor kids might need.
NCLB was far from a perfect law, to be sure. The student transfer provisions were ridiculously weak, and the law allowed states to continue to set their own cut scores on annual tests, making it seem like kids were doing much better than they really were. But it -- like Common Core and the assessments -- shouldn't be so eaisly used as a convenient dumping ground for educators' and advocates' talking points.
*NCLB also didn't require districts to shutter schools, or fire teachers. Those were possible options, sure, but very little of that was done under NCLB, and even under the subsequent school turnaround initiative based on NCLB (SIG). But that's for another time.