Those in Congress in charge of crafting revisions should understand that the law's disappointing results owe less to defects in the law than to the methods and ideas schools use in their attempts to fulfill the "adequate yearly progress" mandate for all groups of students; this causes schools, as many complain, to teach to reading tests rather than educate children. But intensive test preparation by schools has resulted in lower reading test scores in later grades. "Teaching to the test" does not effectively teach to the test after all.
I agree with Hirsch that "the methods and ideas schools use in their attempts to fulfill the 'adequate yearly progress' mandate for all groups of students" are the problem. In some cases, such as at the middle and high school level, the reason schools haven't responded appropriately is because 1. too many students continue to reach them ill-prepared for grade-level work and 2. there's not a whole lot of data at these levels out there on effective pedagogical methods for lower performers. There was no golden era of education in which lower performers successfully learned middle and high school level content. Before WWII, these students dropped out, after WWII, students stayed in school longer, but there's no evidence that they learned more.
However, this lack of pedagogical knowledge does not pertain to the elementary school level. There are successful models out there to emulate. If elementary schools are still floundering with AYP at this point, they have no one to blame but themselves. NAEP results show small 5th grade gains, so far, but they are far smaller than they could or should be. To put it simply, many elementary schools still refuse to do what needs to be done to imrpove, despite the punitive measures imposed by NCLB.
Perhaps there are better ways to motivate schools than NCLB, but I haven't seen any better way with a proven track record. What I normally see is nebulous ideas and complaints. I'm a firm believer in market based solutions, but for such solutions to work, you'd pretty much need to dismantle the entire public school system, the toxic education colleges, and all the special interest groups that have arisen that perpetuate the status quo. This would not only be highly disruptive, but it also requires political capital and will which presently don't exist. Remember, the public schools function well enough in the affluent suburbs where the chattering class resides.