Raise the Bar: Lead the World

Raise the Bar: Lead the World


At the U.S. Department of Education, we believe that high-quality public education—from prekindergarten through postsecondary learning and beyond—lifts up communities, unites people around student success, strengthens our democracy, grows our economy, and empowers people everywhere to realize their dreams. That is why we are committed to ensuring that all students receive an education that enables them to thrive in school and in life.

"Raise the Bar: Lead the World" is the U.S. Department of Education's call to action to transform P-12 education and unite around what truly works—based on decades of experience and research—to advance educational equity and excellence.

Raising the bar means recognizing that our nation already has what it takes to continue leading the world—if we deliver a comprehensive, rigorous education for every student; boldly improve conditions for learning; and ensure every student has a pathway to multilingualism and to college and careers.

When the bar is raised in education, all our nation's students will build the skills to succeed inside and outside of school. Our students will reach new heights in the classroom, in their careers, and in their enriched lives and communities, making a positive difference in the world, for generations to come.

Key Focus Areas

Over the next year, the Department will focus on providing tools, resources, and assistance to states, districts, and schools to advance the three focus areas below, which are connected to six strategies aimed at promoting academic excellence and wellness for every learner and better preparing our nation for global competitiveness.

Achieve Academic Excellence; accelerate learning for every student and deliver a comprehensive and rigorous education for every student
Boldly Improve Learning Conditions; eliminate the educator shortage for every school and invest in every student's mental health and well-being
Create Pathways for Global Engagement; ensure every student has a pathway to college and a career, provide every student with a pathway to multilingualism

Achieve Academic Excellence

Assist states and districts in achieving academic recovery and excellence by supporting the conditions to accelerate learning and offer a comprehensive and rigorous education for every student. This includes efforts such as supporting innovative teaching and learning models; promoting more and better individual and small-group support for students, such as through high-intensity tutoring; increasing access to strong science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and arts education; improving funding for education; promoting more equitable student disciplinary practices; and expanding access to summer learning and enrichment and afterschool programs.

Boldly Improve Learning Conditions

Boldly support improved learning conditions by working to eliminate the teacher shortage and investing in every student's mental health and well-being. This includes efforts such as promoting better pay, working conditions, retention strategies, and professional development for teachers and specialized instructional support personnel, and increasing access to school-based mental health professionals and other staff and community schools for our students.

Create Pathways for Global Engagement

Create pathways for global competitiveness and engagement by reimagining college and career pathways and providing better opportunities for our students to become multilingual. This includes efforts to establish and scale career and college pathways that lead to students earning industry-recognized credentials and securing in-demand jobs; and providing more and better opportunities for our students to become multilingual.

Learn more about the Unlocking Career Success initiative

Learn more about the Department's Raise the Bar: College Excellence and Equity Initiative

For an overview of the Department's Raise the Bar effort, please see this one-pager [PDF, 332KB]. En Español [PDF, 338KB]

And for additional details about the Department's focus and work, please see this Raise the Bar Executive Summary. PDF, 400KB]