The bill requires all 50 states to test third through eighth graders every year in reading and math. The development of the tests is left up to each state. Schools with low test scores get three years to turn themselves around.
Year 1: Low scoring schools receive added funding from the federal government.
Year 2: If the schools have not seen a rise in their pupils' performance on the state test, parents are given the option of transferring their child from that particular school to another public one, e.g. a charter school.
Year 3: If the school fails for a third year, the federal government takes away funding and gives it directly to the parents. They receive their child's share of federal money directly -- about $1,500 -- in the form of a government voucher. The money could be used to pay for a private tutor, or school-related transportation costs, such as driving a child to a school outside the family's school district.
If schools can't boost test scores after three years, they could be taken over by the government or converted to a charter school.
The bill lays out the largest role the federal government has played in education in 35 years. The White House praised the legislation as a sign of bipartisan cooperation, but the bill did have its critics.