ERIC Number: ED444239
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Standards: The Policy Environment. ERIC Digest, Number 138.
This digest offers a snapshot of the standards movement: its origins, the definitions of standards and which ones matter, its successes at the district and state levels, the backlash against the movement, and possible policy directions. While a broad coalition of constituencies has embraced standards-based reform as a means of improving public schools' accountability, preparing a globally competitive work force, and decreasing the achievement gap among various racial ethnic groups, equally vocal groups are arguing that the tough standards movement is flunking too many students and detracting from classroom learning. Critics say the standards movement has been "reduced to a single policy--high stakes testing" linking one set of standardized tests scores to promotion, high-school graduation, and even educator salaries and tenure decisions. Moreover, states pushing for higher standards must provide massive funding for the remedial, tutoring, and professional-development programs needed to enhance students' success. As of early 1999, only 11 states offered such funding. Drawing on pioneering districts' initial successes, educators are advised to make learning (not testing) the goal, provide special assistance for disadvantaged students, set realistic failure rates, invest in wide-ranging reforms, make retention a last resort, capitalize on publicity, and concentrate on urban high schools. (Contains 14 references.) (DFR)
Descriptors: Academic Standards, Accountability, Educational Change, Elementary Secondary Education, Learning Experience, Public Schools, Racial Differences
ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management, 5207 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-5207. For full text: http://eric.uoregon.edu.
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management, Eugene, OR.