A series of principles derived from the output-driven system model have been discussed that when employed can create a force for energizing and focusing student and teacher actions. The principles are based on an understanding of schools as social systems requiring strong norms of academic achievement if productivity is to increase. Such norms can be strengthened by establishing standards that reinforce high achievement and incentives that reward student performance. While our empirical work cannot directly test whether such a system would dramatically change the productivity of American schools, we have shown that there are conditions that appear quite promising for raising academic performance.