ERIC Number: ED421510
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Feb
State Geography Standards: An Appraisal of Geography Standards in 38 States and the District of Columbia.
Munroe, Susan; Smith, Terry
Fordham Report, v2 n2 Feb 1998
The Thomas B. Fordham Foundation has commissioned studies of state academic standards in five core subjects. This is the third of these studies, concentrating on geography, the core subject that has been the most neglected in the U.S. academic curriculum. Standards documents were solicited from all the states, and were submitted by 38 states and the District of Columbia. The evaluation first judged a state's standards against six general characteristics: clarity, specificity, balance of point of view, use of active verbs against which progress can be gauged, inclusion of benchmarks, and guidance to teachers. Evaluators then focused on the comprehensiveness and rigor with which a state's geography standards address key content knowledge and concepts central to a full understanding of geography. Of the 39 jurisdictions, only 3 received a grade of "A." These were headed by Colorado, with a perfect score, a state in which the standards present geography as an important and interesting field of study. Indiana and Texas also received an "A." Three states received a "B" (Michigan, New Hampshire, and West Virginia) and eight states and the District of Columbia received a "C." Six states were graded as "D," and the others failed the standards evaluation. The good news for educators is that geography has regained a place in the U.S. curriculum and is being taken seriously by a number of states. The bad news is that most current state standards for what students know and should be able to do are weak. State-by-state reports are given, including comments on the 12 states that received "incompletes" because of their lack of standards. Three appendixes contain a discussion of the methodology, the criteria and scoring instrument, and a 14-item bibliography. (Contains 1 map, 1 figure, and 5 tables.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Core Curriculum, Elementary Secondary Education, Geography Instruction, Knowledge Level, State Programs, State Standards, Tables (Data)
Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, 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: http://www.edexcellence.net
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, Washington, DC.
Note: For other state standards reports, see TM 028 836-838 and CS 216 412.