Academic content standards encourage the highest achievement of every student by defining the knowledge, concepts, and skills that students should acquire at each grade level. A standards-based system of education is an integrated system in which each element is an essential part of the whole. No single element ensures student achievement, and ineffective implementation of any aspect risks the success of the entire system. Each element informs the others to create a single plan for student mastery of the standards.

    This system of clear expectations for student achievement promotes educational equity. This equity—ensured through universal access for all students—is the cornerstone to our educational philosophy. It’s from the results of our continuing research for and development of improved programs and instructional techniques that students will actually achieve their true potential for academic success. When this success is attained—when there is no measureable gap between the academic performance levels of student subgroups—will we have achieved true educational equality.