In a news report on President Obama’s legacy, one commentator stated that is focus on eliminating failing schools would survive. These are the ‘turn around’ schools where most students do not meet state proficiency levels. Some say that the goal to have all students be proficient is like assuming all students must be ‘above average’. Proficiency standards, however, are set at levels most but not all students are expected to reach. The expectations are an ever increasing target. As achievement goes up, standards go up.
It is a trap, however, to excuse low performance because students have not been expected or even required to do better. Is there an escape hatch?