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ERIC Number: ED420879
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Jul
Pages: 172
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
State English Standards: An Appraisal of English Language-Arts/Reading Standards in 28 States. Complete Edition (Including State Reports).
Stotsky, Sandra
Fordham Report, v1 n1 Jul 1997
A study developed criteria for judging state standards for the English language arts and reading and analyzed the 28 current standards documents. The criteria used for judging the standards relate to the purpose, audience, expectations, and assumptions of the standards documents; the organization of the standards; disciplinary coverage of the standards; quality of the standards; and anti-literary or anti-academic requirements or expectations. Results indicated: (1) a large number of states have mostly unmeasurable or barely measurable standards; (2) nine documents were rated only "to some extent" in the critical area of reading; (3) many omitted vocabulary development as a reading skill, or mandated a narrow or inadequate approach to it; (4) only 8 of the 28 documents analyzed accompanied the standards with a group of specific titles to illustrate the level of reading difficulty; and (5) a number of documents claimed all decisions about the content of the literature curriculum should remain in the hands of local school districts. Results also indicated two major problems in many of the standards: the "completely unrealistic" expectation that young students are capable of understanding not only the culture in which they live but many different cultures in the world; and attempts to teach students about the "nature of language" often end up stressing the variability and impermanence of the English language. Appendixes contain an explanation of each of the criteria; a discussion of how good standards differed from those needing improvement; an analysis of the standards of the New Standards Project; and ratings and analysis of 28 state standards documents.) (RS)
Thomas B. Fordham, 1015 18th St., N.W., Suite 300, Washington, DC 20036; phone: 202-223-5452; fax: 202-223-9226; toll-free phone: 888-TBF-7474; World Wide Web:
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, Washington, DC.