What matters most? With 10 years of research and work in 300 schools to guide them, Silver, Strong, and Perini offer four standards that can be used to help students meet the various standards dictated by districts, states, and regions: * Rigor: helping students make sense of challenging texts and ideas. * Thought: helping students become adept users of powerful learning disciplines. * Diversity: helping students understand themselves and others. * Authenticity: helping students apply what they learn to the real world. These standards elicit popular support-they are understandable and attractive to diverse communities and constituencies throughout the United States. They are also manageable-a majority of students can attain them. In this book, the authors use practical lessons from real classrooms to demonstrate that these four standards, when used to guide decisions about curriculum, instruction, and assessment, can prepare students to perform well on state tests while preserving the democratic traditions of U.S. education.