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 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; ensure every student has a pathway to multilingualism and to college and careers; and increase college affordability and completion so more Americans can reach their dreams.
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.
The Biden-Harris Administration is focused on proven strategies for academic success for every child in school. The U.S. Department of Education will use all its tools—including accountability, grants, and technical assistance–to drive three evidence-based strategies core to the Administration’s agenda since Day One: (1) increasing student attendance; (2) high-dosage tutoring; and (3) summer learning and expanded/afterschool learning time. To support these action items and state and district planning, the Department has released a resource around these three strategies that provides information on the evidence for these strategies, components necessary for effective implementation, specific next steps that State and district leaders can take, and examples of States and districts already doing this work.
Key Focus Areas
The Department is focused on providing tools, resources, and assistance to states, districts, and schools to advance the four focus areas below, which are connected to strategies aimed at promoting academic excellence and wellness for every learner and better preparing our nation for global competitiveness.
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.
- Goal: Attain student achievement levels that exceed pre-pandemic performance and close underlying achievement and opportunity gaps.
- Goal: Ensure all students have access to a comprehensive and rigorous education with high-quality instruction that prepares them to be active, engaged, and lifelong learners.
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.
- Goal: Eliminate the educator shortage for every school by ensuring that schools are appropriately staffed, paying educators competitively, and strengthening pathways into the profession.
- Goal: Invest in every student's mental health and well-being by increasing school-based health services for students and building schools that support students' overall well-being.
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.
- Goal: Ensure every student has a path to postsecondary education and training, including by establishing and scaling innovative systems of college and career pathways that integrate high schools, colleges, employers, and communities and lead to students earning industry-recognized credentials and securing in-demand jobs.
- Goal: Provide every student with a pathway to multilingualism.
Increase College Affordability and Completion
Increase college affordability, completion, excellence, and equity. This includes efforts to invest in our nation’s most inclusive and accessible colleges and universities, increase financial aid for students from low-income families, help colleges adopt data-driven strategies for improving degree completion rates, fix our broken student loan system, make repayment more affordable than ever, deliver historic debt relief to borrowers, and protect students from abusive college conduct and unaffordable debt.
For an overview of the Department's Raise the Bar effort please see this one-pager [PDF, 332KB]. En Español [PDF, 338KB]
For additional details about the Department's focus and work please see Raise the Bar Executive Summary. PDF, 400KB]