ERIC Number: EJ1033082
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Reference Count: N/A
Information Fuels Support for School Reform
Henderson, Michael B.; Howell, William G.; Peterson, Paul E.
Education Next, v14 n2 p26-35 Spr 2014
The Common Core State Standards initiative (CCSS) seeks to "provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn" at various grade levels. For some education observers, CCSS will finally clarify for students, parents, and educators what students need to know and be able to do if they are to be prepared for college or a career. For others, CCSS interferes with local control of schools, limits teacher creativity, and diverts classroom time and energy away from instruction to test preparation. But as pundits and practitioners thrust and parry over these issues, they may be overlooking the potential impact of CCSS on public perceptions of school quality and public support for school reforms. Recently, the state of New York embraced CCSS, and in the process adopted a much higher definition of proficiency. When the new test results were released, the percentage of students identified as proficient in math dropped from 65 to 31, and in English from 55 to 31. The gap between white and minority students remained wide, as only 16 percent of black students and 18 percent of Hispanic students were deemed proficient in English. The results ignited debate in New York City's mayoral campaign, where candidates searched for ways to differentiate themselves from the Bloomberg administration's education agenda. Are the developments in New York unique to that state? Or is there reason to think that rigorous national standards, with accompanying measures of student performance, have the power to generate the political attention needed to refocus public opinion? To shed light on this topic, experimental results from the 2013 "Education Next" poll, which consists of a representative sample of the American public, and which was conducted under the auspices of the Harvard Program on Education Policy and Governance, are evaluated in this article.
Descriptors: Access to Information, Educational Change, State Standards, Academic Standards, Governance, Educational Policy, National Surveys, Public Opinion, Accountability, Evidence, School Surveys, Educational Vouchers, School Choice, Personnel Policy, Grievance Procedures, Teacher Evaluation, Unions, Compensation (Remuneration), Teacher Employment Benefits
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A