ERIC Number: ED434123
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Jul
Making Standards Work: A Case Study of Washington State.
Lake, Robin J.; Hill, Paul T.; O'Toole, Lauren; Celio, Mary Beth
This report examines the implementation of standards-based reform in Washington and whether the reform strategy has worked. The report is based on a survey of two statewide samples of elementary schools at which students had taken the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) fourth-grade test in 1997 and 1998. The first was a sample of 30 schools at which scores had improved significantly (a rate of 50% or better). The second was a group of 10 schools that served a similar population but which had experienced little, if any, improvement. The researchers interviewed each principal and collected written materials about the school's improvement strategy. Among the key conclusions is that effective changes in teaching methods and materials should be focused and schoolwide, not random and fragmented. Schools that were improving operated as teams, not loose associations. They were marked by professional development and were active in seeking help. Improving schools used their limited resources strategically and called on parents to help. Performance pressure was found to be helpful when it fosters determination and not fear. The study shows that schools can boost student achievement with concerted effort. Specific recommendations are made for policymakers, educators, parents, and community and business leaders. (SLD)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Academic Standards, Achievement Gains, Educational Change, Educational Improvement, Institutional Characteristics, Intermediate Grades, School Effectiveness, State Programs
Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, 1627 K Street, N.W., Suite 600, Washington, DC 20006 (free); Tel: 888-TBF-7474 (Toll Free); Web site: http://www.edexcellent.net (full text).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Washington Assessment of Student Learning