ERIC Number: ED459039
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
American Indian/Alaska Native Education and Standards-Based Reform. ERIC Digest.
Fox, Sandra J.
This digest summarizes potential benefits of standards-based reform and areas of concern for schools serving American Indian and Alaska Native students. Content standards may benefit Indian education by creating a more common curriculum, providing a focus for improving teaching and learning, and promoting a more holistic, active-learning sort of pedagogy. Various states have sought input from Indian educators about the appropriateness of standards for Indian students or have allowed development of culturally relevant local standards. Nevertheless, the potential benefits of standards will not be realized if the instruction that Indian students receive is inadequate or if the standards are irrelevant to Indian students. Standards-based reform emphasizes testing what is taught. States that use performance-based assessment and multiple measures can avoid or reduce cultural bias in testing. Unfortunately, most states continue to rely on standardized, norm-referenced, or multiple-choice tests, which are thought to be biased. Basing decisions about promotion or graduation on inadequate testing measures may prove extremely harmful to Indian students. Holding schools accountable for students' learning is a plus for Indian education, but students in ineffective schools may also suffer. One recommendation is to base accountability on student and school gains rather than on comparisons with other students and schools. Federal and state governments play a crucial role in helping low-performing schools meet standards. (Contains 12 references.) (SV)
Descriptors: Academic Standards, Accountability, American Indian Education, American Indian Students, Culturally Relevant Education, Educational Change, Elementary Secondary Education, High Stakes Tests, Test Bias
ERIC/CRESS, P.O. Box 1348, Charleston, WV 25325-1348. Tel: 800-624-9120 (Toll Free). For full text: http://www.ael.org/eric/digests/edorc01-2.htm.
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 Rural Education and Small Schools, Charleston, WV.