ERIC Number: ED456003
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Mar
Standards in Public Schools: A Policy Statement of the Rural School and Community Trust.
Rural School and Community Trust, Randolph, VT.
Setting high academic standards and achieving against them is an important educational objective. Academic standards should originate within the student's community; be used to measure student achievement and school performance; be shared and understood by all members of the community; and be both explicit and comprehensible to lay people. The process of adopting standards is itself important because it can both strengthen content and increase public acceptance of those standards. The process should be participatory and inclusive. The Rural School and Community Trust encourages development of three kinds of learning standards: (1) content standards that establish what the community expects the child to accomplish and that are high enough to challenge each student; (2) context standards that provide a pedagogy of place using the community and native environment as curriculum; and (3) learning condition standards that assure an appropriate learning environment. There is a danger that standards can turn schools into agencies of social control for the politically or economically dominant. The relationship between high standards and equity is important to rural communities because small schools can be closed in the name of raising standards and improving educational opportunity when, in fact, the objective is to lower costs per pupil. This bias against small schools exists despite the evidence that they perform well, especially in lower socioeconomic communities. Academic standards should be used to accomplish the goal of equal educational opportunity, not to artfully deny it. (TD)
Descriptors: Academic Standards, Community Involvement, Educational Environment, Educational Policy, Elementary Secondary Education, Equal Education, Participative Decision Making, Place Based Education, Policy Formation, Politics of Education, Position Papers, Public Policy, Rural Education, School Community Relationship
For full text: http://www.ruraledu.org/policy.html.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Rural School and Community Trust, Randolph, VT.