No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the 2002 reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965, was the signature education legislation of the George W. Bush administration. NCLB was but the latest evolution of at least two previous reauthorizations of the ESEA. In 1988 continued receipt of Title I funds to schools was first linked to increased student achievement scores (LeTendre, 1991). The1994 ESEA reauthorization under Bill Clinton saw the federal government go further by tying Title I funds to standards-based curriculum reform (DeBray, 2005). What has made NCLB so different was the punitive approach it took toward Title I schools. The law guaranteed that parents would have the option of opting out of schools that were deemed failing under the law. Failing was defined as a school that had not reached its annual yearly progress goals or, AYP, for two consecutive years. This study compared two sets of Title I middle school students: students who remained in their home school, and a matching group of students who chose to opt out of their Title I school and into another school that was not under federal sanctions. Results indicated that students who chose to opt out of their home school did show academic growth. However that growth was similar to their peers who remained in their home school with regard to reading. However, growth was significantly less than their peers with regard to mathematics; thus casting doubt as whether the federal mandate of using school choice as means of improving student achievement was having its intended effect. Implications for future research and practice will also be provided.