High standards that apply to all students. Regardless of the program or the child's needs, the same high standards must apply. As Vermont's Green Mountain Challenge states, "High standards for all students--no exceptions, no excuses." ESEA calls on schools to raise standards for all children--and all means all.
Example of North Dakota's English/Language Arts Content Standards for Grade 4
Alignment of all educational components. Challenging standards are much more likely to be met if the other important elements of teaching and learning--including assessments, instructional materials, and professional development--are aligned with the standards. Some States have explicit standards and curricula that are not well coordinated with other aspects of their educational system. For example, if State assessments are not tied to standards, then teachers have incentive to teach the content tested rather than the content embraced in the standards. The new ESEA encourages alignment of all major components affecting teaching and learning.
Baltimore County, MD: