He said NCLB - like most laws - is not perfect. But he described as "fundamental" the law's focus on holding educators responsible for teaching all students.
"I've never met a law that couldn't improve. But to criticize the heart of No Child Left Behind is to refuse to take responsibility for the achievement gap - the most serious civil-rights, social and economic crisis facing America today," Klein said.
He added that schools should be testing students "routinely," as long as the exams are based on solid standards.
"The anti-testing advocates would have you believe that people like me want our students to run through daily drills on how to properly fill in bubbles with No. 2 pencils. That couldn't be further from the truth," the chancellor said.
"Our teachers should teach students the skills and ideas they must master in order to pass their tests. That's teaching to the test," he said.
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