It's a start, at least. I'm in Georgia, one of the states getting waivers, and my wife teaches in the public school system. She feels that the particular measures adopted here will make things slightly worse by increasing the marginalization of kids at the bottom achievement levels. (I hope I'm paraphrasing her concerns correctly.)
But "No Child" was always inherently unworkable. The only way to get every child to grade level was to 'dumb down' grade level to the lowest common denominator. The kids with the lowest capacity deserve an education (and it is in society's interest to provide it to them so that they can contribute the most possible for them), but the way to do that is not to force them to attempt things which they are not actually capable of doing.
In Garrison Keillor's fictional Lake Wobegon 'all the children are above average.' Unfortunately, that is not the case in the real world, and never can be. In essence, NCLB assumed otherwise--an this denial of reality led to prescriptive measures that have had very unfortunate consequences. WD Curry noted some for rural Florida; in urban Georgia (and elsewhere) teachers have been driven to cheating to meet unrealistic goals, so that their schools would not be stigmatized and penalized.
Another consequence is that special education is put under severe pressure: its bedrock has been the "IEP"--a personalized instructional plan tailored to the student's specific needs. But that can't really work when those students are (as is increasingly the case under NCLB) forced to 'work to grade level.'
NCLB needs to change; though noble in intention, it has been a disaster, and will only get worse as its prescriptions diverge further from reality. The current initiatives may not be the answer, but at least they start a process that has a chance to lead to something less unrealistic.