ERIC Number: ED440150
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Sep
State Standards-Setting and Public Deliberation: The Case of California. CSE Technical Report.
McDonnell, Lorraine M.; Weatherford, M. Stephen
This paper focuses on the formulation and adoption of content standards in California. The standards-setting process is examined through the theoretical lens of deliberative democracy in order to develop a better understanding of the process and to assess the extent to which the institutions charged with deciding what students should learn can act as deliberative bodies. The analysis is based on 15 elite interviews, written input submitted to the state Standards Commission (more than 1,370 items), and articles on its work in the state's newspapers. In many ways, the Standards Commission fulfilled its potential as a deliberative body. It provided multiple opportunities for public input, and while most of it came from professional educators, access to the Commission was open and relatively cost-free. Despite their philosophical differences, most of the commissioners subscribed to deliberative norms and worked to provide a consensus document. However, the larger political process in which standards policy was being shaped inevitably impinged on, and sometimes undermined, the Commission's efforts to ground decisions in reasoned deliberation. (Contains 39 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: California Univ., Los Angeles. Center for the Study of Evaluation.; Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing, Los Angeles, CA.
Identifiers - Location: California