Room
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What Kids Can Do with Challenging, Inspiring Schoolwork

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What’s possible when students are challenged and inspired in school? 

We don’t hear often enough from the people who know best: students themselves. So we asked.

We asked students like Martin, who once thought pre-calculus was out of reach. Now he's confident he can excel.

He plans to be the first in his family to go to college.



I used to think of this as really hard and challenging—stuff that really smart people can do. Now I feel like I belong. I can go beyond what I thought I could do because of this class.

- Martin Rangel, 17

All students deserve the chance to stretch to their full potential in school. That's why districts are adopting higher academic standards for students.

This effort is essential—but it's not easy.

In our work, we've reviewed thousands of classroom assignments in districts committed to higher standards.

Only about 4 in 10 assignments are challenging enough to prepare kids for college.

It's a common challenge. Too many students graduate high school unprepared—and spend thousands on remedial courses in college.

40% of all college students take at least one remedial course
Source: Education Longitudinal Study of 2002, National Center for Education Statistics.

And most college students won’t earn a bachelor’s degree.

60% of all college students won’t earn a bachelor’s degree
Source: Education Longitudinal Study of 2002, National Center for Education Statistics.

It's a common challenge. Too many students graduate high school unprepared—and spend thousands on remedial courses in college.

40% of all college students take at least one remedial course 60% of African-American and Hispanic college students take at least one remedial course

And most college students won’t earn a bachelor’s degree.

60% of all college students won’t earn a bachelor’s degree 75% of African-American and Hispanic college students won’t earn a bachelor’s degree
Source: Education Longitudinal Study of 2002, National Center for Education Statistics.

Kids deserve schoolwork now that honors their aspirations for the future. They're up to the challenge.

So let's hear from them: Meet five students and their classmates who show us what's possible.