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ERIC Number: EJ757424
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Mar
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0036-6439
A Test of Time: Unchanged Priorities for Student Outcomes
Rothstein, Richard; Jacobsen, Rebecca
School Administrator, v64 n3 p36 Mar 2007
As the nation emerged from the Great Depression and as the world hurtled toward a Second World War, the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) re-examined the purpose of American Education. AASA joined with the National Education Association to convene an Education Policies Commission that set forth "four great groups of objectives" for public education: self-realization, human relationships, economic efficiency, and civic responsibility. The commission's 1938 report, deeply influenced by national and world crisis, embraced basic math and literacy skills as key outcomes of schooling, but also said that educators should do much more. Some 70 years later, the No Child Left Behind and similar state accountability plans hold public schools responsible only for test scores in basic academic skills. Ignoring the balanced list of outcomes generated in 1938 by the Education Policies Commission, today's policies narrow the curriculum, placing such stress on basic academic skills that other important goals for public education are diminished. In this article, the authors discuss how the current accountability systems have reduced the mission of schools to whatever is being tested. The authors also discuss the role of superintendents in fulfilling the mission of public schools as they have unique expertise in the needs of their students and communities. The authors also cite the results of a nationwide study that explored whether superintendents still subscribe to the balanced goal system articulated by AASA in 1938.
American Association of School Administrators. 801 North Quincy Street Suite 700, Arlington, VA 22203-1730. Tel: 703-528-0700; Fax: 703-841-1543; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001