FCMAT’s approach to accountability is based on a commitment to a standards-based, independent and external review of school district operations. Our experience indicates for schools and school districts to be successful in program improvement, the evaluation and design and implementation of recovery plans must be standards driven. FCMAT has noted positive differences between an objective standards-based approach and a nonstandards-based approach. When standards are clearly defined, reachable, and communicated, there is a greater likelihood they will be measured and met. Our reviews are based on existing legal and professional education standards. The standards are benchmarks that could be readily used as an indication of success for any school district in California. Every standard is measured using a consistent rating format, and every standard is given a scaled score from zero to ten indicating the extent to which it has been implemented. It is from this comprehensive standard-based review of all data that the recommendations for school district improvement and enhanced student learning is provided to the district.