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The new standards were written to address the harsh realities for poor performance of American students across all grades levels, k-12. According to NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) data, more than 60% of our students in grades 4, 8, and 12 are not proficient readers and the United States is one of the lowest performing in mathematics. The statistics are even more staggering for our children who live in poverty, students with disabilities and English Language Learners. The new standards have sent a clear message: all students must be engaged deeper learning. This deeper level of understanding and comprehension is communicated through a more sophisticated and independent level of applied literacy skills. In this book, some of our leading educators envision the standards as a vehicle to provide more rigorous instruction and illustrate how teachers are uniquely qualified to determine the most effective methods for developing students’ skills and close the achievement gap.