Standards & Rigor

It’s no secret student achievement outcomes, by a wide range of measures, have stagnated in the United States in the last decade.

Whether you reference the 2011 US Congressional Record on Education, or the annual OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) PISA results (Program for International Student Assessment), each offer conclusions that are cause for concern.  The concern is not isolated; it is for our American society as a whole: employers, parents, school districts, and individual students themselves.

Much has been written on what some choose to characterize as our “industrially-based” education model.  Often disparaged as “Talk n’ Chalk”, “Sage on the Stage”, “Drill n’ Kill”, these labels call into question today’s teaching and learning as outdated modes of instruction and knowledge transfer.

Promoting critical thinking skills, hands-on inquiry based learning, and delivering an enhanced mastery of compulsory knowledge and skills are aims all learning communities seek for all students.  Unfortunately, few schools are able to achieve this goal beyond isolated student populations.  This condition has arisen in the very same decade when technology leads the US to advancements recognized globally for our innovation. We are undoubtedly in the midst of a digital revolution where we are leading on one front, but failing on the other.  Everyone is encouraging educators to embrace these transitions now and in the future in order to help raise student expectations and rigor to the benefit of more learners reaching their human potential.


Here at Sunburst Digital, our digital content solutions enable teachers and students to easily transition into this new era of digital learning. We provide digital curricula and instructional resources that are not only engaging but also offer academically and instructionally sound learning.  With our products, students are not playing video games—our programs include features such as content aligned with Common Core and state standards, formative and summative assessment questions, test-preparation, remediation activities, parent and teacher worksheets, and much more.  The transfer of knowledge and skills in the very best digital content solutions moves from passive learning to hands-on, participatory, constructivist learning.  Sunburst and our partners are passionate about basing digital content design on sound principles of teaching and learning because we believe this approach results in real learning progress.

Here is what people are saying about our products:

“The new Type to Learn… is wonderful. Our students say they enjoy the game aspect of it and have even said the tests are fun. With the addition of captioning, our students have full access to the program. Thanks for making a great program and for making it accessible to hearing-impaired students!”

­Sharee Darcé
Texas School for the Deaf

“We have been using the Ignite Torches and Ion for about 7 months now in PSJA. One of the things we like best about these products is the ease of use. They are very self explanatory and teachers can use them without having to go through days and days of inservices. The teachers have found it to be an excellent resource when introducing or reinforcing concepts in math, science, and history. They lend themselves very well to being a viable resource for teachers. They captivate the students’ attention and explain concepts in a manner that is easy for the students to grasp.”

Dr. Virginia N. Richter
Area I & II Administrator
Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD

“My students have shown an increase in achievement since using Mathspace. Not only have I witnessed content mastery from students, I have also seen an increased level of classroom participation and engagement.”

Ada Lee
Murdock Portal Elementary School

“Thank you for expanding the JumpStart series to such a degree that it fits into the challenging standards that schools are setting for themselves today. I find JumpStart to be so valuable to both my own children’s learning, but also to that of my students in my classroom.”

Betsy Wandishin
2003 State Teacher of the Year (Maine)

“My Students have been using StudioWeb for just about a week now. They are learning more than I could ever teach them and I believe they are surprising themselves with their abilities!”

Mandi Wood
Ridgemont High School, Victory, OH

“My daughter Jenesie is currently in 5th grade. She has been using MaxScholar since 3rd grade. At the time, she was working below grade level, in danger of not being promoted and turned off by reading. In one year she has increased 14 points on her reading standardized assessments.”

Grizelle Brugos
Teacher and Parent

“In this last year 82% of those students who were assigned a HELP class, in addition to their regular math class, made high growth (above the 66th percentile) on the State math test. 47% of the students grew at above the 90th percentile even though one of the HELP classes was taught by the woodshop teacher.”

Paul Freeman
Principal, Colorado