ERIC Number: ED412233
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Mar-24
Reference Count: N/A
California Curriculum Policy in the 1990's: "We Don't Have To Be in Front To Lead."
Carlos, Lisa; Kirst, Mike
This case study traces the evolution of curriculum-related educational reforms in California, concentrating on those that have influenced mathematics and science. These reform efforts are examined in the framework of the state's political and policy context. Data came from interviews, a synthesis of the research literature, and newspaper accounts of events. Over 20 people were interviewed to describe the evolution of curriculum and policy. For more than a decade, California has been considered a leader in curriculum reform, and by the 1990s, the state had developed frameworks in all core subject areas. These frameworks passed through several versions, with particular controversy associated with the language arts framework. The language arts framework was not associated with improved reading achievement and was characterized in the public mind as an expensive experiment. Similar concerns were expressed about the mathematics framework, but science reform has largely stayed out of the limelight of controversy. Parallel to the backlash to the frameworks has been a backlash to performance-based assessment in California, as evidenced by the dissatisfaction with the California Learning Assessment System. Public concerns about professional development and other educational policies have also threatened the promising start California made in the 1980s. Political changes have splintered state leadership and policy direction, until the comprehensive curriculum-driven reform movement is at a crossroads. (Contains 35 references.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Case Studies, Curriculum Development, Educational Change, Educational History, Educational Policy, Educational Practices, Elementary Secondary Education, Language Arts, Mathematics Education, Performance Based Assessment, Policy Formation, Political Influences, Public Schools, Science Education, State Programs, Testing Programs
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA.; Department of Education, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: WestEd, San Francisco, CA.
Identifiers - Location: California
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: California Learning Assessment System