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ERIC Number: ED459188
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Oct
Pages: 66
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Making Standards Meaningful: High School Reform Efforts in Washington State. Making Standards Work, 2001.
Taggart, Sara
Using data from the 10th grade Washington Assessment of Student Learning, researchers selected 26 high schools across the state of Washington that had made greater gains in school improvement than other schools serving similar populations of students. Interviews were held with the principals of these schools and with 13 comparison schools that had not made such gains. Data also came from five site visits to talk to teachers and students. Findings suggest that the differences between improving and comparison high schools are less stark than the differences discovered at elementary and middle school levels in other studies. Many of the improving and comparison schools went beyond just test preparation to begin to adjust their programs to match the new state standards and tests. All of the schools reviewed their curricula, and nearly all reported that they increased their focus on improving students' reading and writing skills. Some schools began offering after-school support programs. Improving schools were, however, more focused in their approach, more determined to succeed, and more active in engaging students and teachers in making standards work. The majority of improving schools capitalized on new standards and tests to focus adult efforts to improve student learning. Improving schools that did not focus on the state standards and tests, but used them as targets within an existing strategy of improvement made slightly greater gains in achievement than other improving schools. Findings suggest that making the fundamental changes that affect student learning requires new ways of working by teachers, students, principals, parents, and communities. Three appendixes discuss research methods, present interview and survey protocols, and review the steps taken by most schools to respond to state standards. (Contains 29 references.) (SLD)
Center on Reinventing Public Education, Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs, University of Washington, Box 353060, Seattle, WA 98195-3060. Tel: 206-685-2214; Fax: 206-221-7402; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Washington Univ., Seattle. Center on Reinventing Public Education.
Identifiers - Location: Washington