Do higher standards hurt struggling students? High Standards Help Struggling Students: New Evidence, argues that the answer to that question is “no.” In the analysis, Education Sector analysts Constance Clark and Peter Cookson Jr. use state-by-state NAEP data to examine the effect of high standards on student achievement. They find there is no evidence that high standards have hurt low-achieving students. In fact, they found that higher standards have probably helped.
"There is no reason for states to dilute the strength of the standards with lower expectations of performance.” High standards bring out the best in students."