ERIC Number: ED389772
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Standards-Based Reform: What Does It Mean for the Middle Grades?
This paper describes the status of the standards movement in relation to the middle grades and in terms of the policy context of the 1990s. It also outlines the potential of standards-guided reform at the middle level. By the early years of the 1990s, two key assumptions characterized the new wave of proposed reforms: that schools needed to reinforce their academic purposes through standards for curriculum and that these standards needed to apply to the learning of all students. The Goals 2000 Act provided a national context for reform and the application of educational standards. The standards movement today rests on content, performance, and opportunity-to-learn standards. In the middle grades these standards must be brought to bear in the various subject areas of mathematics, literacy, science, and social studies. The common thread that links emerging standards for the middle grades is the thread of learning and teaching for understanding. The status of national achievement and the academic experiences of middle school students make a clear starting point for thinking about the potential of standards for the middle grades. Standards-based reform can formalize high academic expectations for all students and set criteria for more challenging classrooms, more challenging learning, and more authentic assessment. (Contains 47 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Goals 2000; Opportunity to Learn; Reform Efforts