An Objectives-Driven Program

What is an “objectives-driven” program? The goal of an objectives-driven program is to set students on a course for success beginning at a young age.


Foundation-building starts early in elementary school.

At grade 6, the academic foundation-building expands with a search to connect personal likes and dislikes to the world of work.

classHighest possible performance level is critical at grade 8 graduation. Well-known tests monitor gate-opening for:

  • High school placement test.
  • Access to post secondary school of choice.

Highest possible performance level is critical at grade 8 graduation to monitor gate-opening later on.

High school coursework reflects both academic performance and search for world-of-work connection.

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Long-range planning leads to a post-secondary experience to maximize performance.

When all is said and done, the Foundation for Excellence student will be not only be well-trained for their employment—they will enjoy it!


Student Performance Diagnostics

How does Foundation for Excellence lead to annual student performance growth?

Figure 1

Working individually after group instruction, fast-learning and/or highly motivated students will demonstrate mastery more quickly.  With 90% mastery before leaving a level, the percent of students reaching the upper level will increase each year.


In the usual group instruction model, error baggage will inevitably accumulate over time. Only those who begin at the very top will stay there.

Figure 2With 90% mastery required (instead of the usual 60-65%) AND an accumulation of more students in PR95-99, median scores can be expected to increase each year.

Question: How can the Foundation for Excellence get 90% mastery before a student can move on?

Answer: The task was not simple.

Distribution of Diagnostics by Level and Curriculum area:

Diagnostics Distribution Chart

No error baggage will escape.

If that student leaves group instruction with error baggage, each error WILL be identified and corrected.

Now go back to first page: “an objectives-driven program.” What are the objectives? We’ll get into that on the next Foundation for Excellence post.

Raising Student Performance with Foundation for Excellence

Foundation for Excellence is a detailed, objectives-driven program designed to raise student performance every year.

In addition to annual performance growth, Foundation For Excellence includes:

  • An annual validity check linked to commonly known academic performance measures;
  • A connection between academic performance to a career-directed secondary school experience, based on the student’s personal likes and dislikes, beginning at age 12.
  • A long-range viewpoint, beginning at Grade 2 and carrying through post-secondary school education.

First, let’s take a look at annual performance growth.

In most K-8 schools, at the end of a unit (e.g. Long Division), after quizzes and homework, a unit test appears. The time devoted to this unit is limited by the teacher’s year-long schedule.

At the end of that group instruction, some students have total mastery, some have just a little error baggage, and some leave with a lot, as the following graph shows:

Usual performance distribution after new unit is taught.

Usual performance distribution after new unit is taught.

That error baggage may (or may not) be corrected by another teacher.

The Foundation for Excellence model also begins with timed group instruction, but includes no exam at the end of the unit.

Instead, each student begins working through diagnostics—shorts list of items designed to identify ANY and ALL of that student’s error baggage.

The student works alone at his or her own rate. When diagnostics have been completed, the mastery test is given.

As the following graph shows, no student leaves this unit until he or she can show a 90% mastery of the content:

Same unit, performance distribution with Foundation for Excellence.

Same unit, performance distribution with Foundation for Excellence.

Next post (Thursday, March 5): How does this lead to annual student performance growth?