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ERIC Number: ED460166
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Jul
Pages: 35
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Facing the Hard Facts in Education Reform: A Policy Information Perspective.
Barton, Paul E.
This paper makes the case that the standards-based reform movement is too limited an approach to rely on in educational reform, and that there is a set of hard facts that must be faced if there is to be any significant improvement in student achievement. These facts are the attitudes, practices, and conditions that are so embedded in culture and personal experience that they escape serious attention. Without an understanding of the preconditions that have an impact on improvement in academic rigor and student achievement, there is little basis for serious consideration of new ways and means of raising educational success. Tests are being used to hold students and schools accountable for standards before much needed teaching capacity is built. In addition, tests are not aligned to the standards, and tests are not aligned to the curriculum. The standards-based reform movement can only succeed if policymakers and educators pay attention to the larger societal context and the environment in which change is to be implemented. Issues that must be considered in this context include student behavior, weak signals that academic achievement is important, the acknowledgement of the importance of sources of learning outside the school, and the appropriate use of educational technology. It is not appropriate to lessen efforts to implement the standards-based reform agenda, but this alone will not be enough for significant improvement. (SLD)
Policy Information Center, Mailstop 04-R, Educational Testing Service, Rosedale Road, Princeton, NJ 08541-0001 ($10.50 prepaid). Tel: 609-734-5694; e-mail:; Web site: For full text:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ. Policy Information Center.