ERIC Number: ED485523
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jan
The State of State English Standards, 2005
Thomas B Fordham Foundation and Institute
The importance of state academic standards soared in January 2002 with passage of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Not only does that milestone law require all states to have demanding academic standards in place and to demonstrate steady student progress toward academic proficiency as set forth in those standards, it also links states' accountability for increasing students' achievement to the quality of their teachers. The Higher Education Act also asks states to report annually on pass rates on licensure tests taken by prospective teachers and on how their K-12 standards relate to their teacher-preparation program standards. For the first time in U.S. history, these key elements of our public-education system are joined--and they are all joined to state academic standards that set forth what K-12 students are expected to learn in core subjects. The quality of those standards thus matters more than ever before. In this review, that quality is appraised in 2005 in reading and English language arts, arguably the most basic and consequential subject of all. Do states' current standards expect what they should? Are they demanding enough? Clear enough? Faithful to what is known about how students learn? And are states using them to guide not only the curriculum and assessment system for students but also their teacher-training programs, the tests that they require of prospective teachers, and their professional development activities for current teachers? This report answers those and many more questions about reading and English standards in 49 states and the District of Columbia. (Iowa has no state standards.) In addition to official standards documents, a wide variety of supplemental materials were reviewed against 34 criteria organized into six major categories. Criteria were scored on a 4-point scale and grade point averages were converted to letter grades. Appended are: (1) The 2005 Review Form and Methodology; (2) Criteria, Rationales, and State Results; (3) Unteachable Literature Standards; (4) Strong Literature Standards; and (5) Tables. [Report also produced by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. Foreword by Chester E. Finn, Jr.]
Descriptors: Federal Legislation, Educational Legislation, Reading Achievement, Educational Policy, English Instruction, State Standards, Academic Standards, Academic Achievement, Accountability, Educational Quality, Public Education, Teacher Competencies
Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, 1627 K Street, NW Suite 600, Washington, DC 20006. Tel: 202-223-5452.
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education; Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, Washington, DC.