What is this kind of statement really saying? If it is given in response to educational delays in your own child's performance, the goals for your child need to be very clear. To be provided with an appropriate education and be meeting the standards for the grade level your child is in, then the "measurement" of success is what every "third grader" should know, for example. In order to have clear and appropriate expectations set for your child, his/her strengths and weaknesses need to be clearly defined in the IEP. You must have a clear understanding of your child's cognitive ability and whether a delay in his progress is due to communication access or cognitive potential. Low expectations for deaf and hard of hearing students have been at the root of dismal outcomes in our nation for over 100 years.
"Let's make sure we set the expectations for Jeannene comparable to her cognitive and language potential, and ask ourselves the question as to whether she is getting enough communication access in order to learn what she needs to learn."
"What are the steps we need to develop to get Bob to his next level of performance. Let's look again at his strengths and weaknesses. How are we going to put goals in his IEP to make sure he is closing the gap toward grade level expectations, so he won't remain behind? What about summer school? Tutoring? Extra help?"
"Let's look at John's IQ scores again. He has average, if not above average, intelligence. There is a reason besides John's potential to get him where he needs to be. We need to set our expectations at what we KNOW John can achieve if we can develop the supports necessary to get him there."