Of those familiar with the 2001 act, 45 percent say it has made no difference in U.S. public school education and 29 percent say it's made it worse, the Gallup Poll indicated.
Twenty-one percent say it's made public schools better, the poll found.
Sixty percent say they're either very or somewhat familiar with the act, with 14 percent saying they are not familiar at all with it, Gallup said.
Those who said they were not familiar with the standards-based education reform act were not asked their opinion of it, Gallup said.
The act, proposed by U.S. President George W. Bush immediately after taking office in 2001, received overwhelming bipartisan congressional support.
The legislation is up for reauthorization this year. Its goals include 100 percent proficiency among public school students in several subject areas, including math and reading, by the 2013-2014 school year.
The Aug. 6-9 Gallup phone survey of 1,010 adults has a general margin of error of 4 percentage points. Among the 233 surveyed parents with children in kindergarten through Grade 12, the margin of error is 8 percentage points, Gallup said.