In response to the highly anticipated results of the first Smarter Balanced administration, State Board of Education President Mike Kirst shares his impressions of the scores in the San Francisco Chronicle. Kirst first emphasizes the importance of viewing the results as baseline data for college and career readiness and to inform teacher preparation and support. Approximately half of California’s students met or nearly met mathematics and English Language Arts achievement standards, yet achievement gaps continued to exist for traditionally disadvantaged students. Kirst argues that these results point to the growing urgency for schools to focus on the state’s key priorities of improving achievement and implementing academic standards. He also cautions that change takes time. Efforts to train and assist educators in delivering instruction that meets the expectations of the state standards are only beginning to reach classrooms and will require patience.