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Psychologists have known for years that each person develops at their own pace. Yes, there are generalizations that can be applied to age groups, but there is no guarantee that any one person will meet a milestone by the general time frame. So, why do we have standards that expect this to happen?! Maybe the answer isn't in bonuses for teachers; nor is it in asking them to work harder; nor is it in blaming a sub-group. Maybe it's just time we look at changing our structure to allow kids to progress through the standards at their pace. Not the one we prescribe. Teachers are expected to be flexible in the classroom, why not with the standards? If we went back 50 years, how different would a school's structure look? In front of each room was a teacher with a large group of kids in their seats. The same is true today. The groups contained a mix of abilities, yet they were learning the same thing. Same as today. The main reason for this set up was convenience for the teacher. It was the most practical way to deliver instruction. The student had to fit the mold because there wasn't a more practical way. However, today we have the technology that will allow us to deliver differentiated instruction and testing to every student. The hardware is ready, we just we just need to build the software to fit education. See my post in Personalized Learning for a better picture about how this can happen. http://www.edutopia.org/groups/personalized-learning/55707