Shying Away

I couldn’t get past reading the first paragraph:

The core of the changes are new, tougher national grade-level standards, adopted by Arizona in June 2010. They revamp what skills students must learn and when they learn it to match their peers across the country. Arizona students must take the new national reading and math exams that measure those skills in spring 2015.

Who are Arizona students’ peers? Are the students their same age? Students of the same SES? Students with the same family situation?

Can you really compare students based on skills with peers across the country or are we just shying away from the real work of developing meaningful relationships with students?