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Accountability


A Noble Opportunity: Leading Education Change through a P-16 Accountability Model MS Word - This Briefing Paper from the National Forum on Accountability presents a new accountability model guided by the P-16 system of education -- preschool through college. The new model aims to ensure that all segments of a state's education system are serving students well and working together to meet student and educator needs. (Stephen Portch, Education Commission of the States, May 2002)...

A Student-Centered P-16 Accountability Model MS Word - This Briefing Paper from the National Forum on Accountability outlines a "next generation" accountability model that spans states' education systems from pre-kindergarten through the end of undergraduate education (P-16). The author argues that new accountability systems should provide opportunities for all students to prepare well for, and succeed, in college. (Andrea Venezia, Stanford Institute for Higher Education Research, May 2002)...

The Progress of Education Reform 1999-2001: Setting the Standard - Will Higher Expectations Improve Student Achievement? MS Word PDF - Reports on the latest research on the effectiveness of standards, how the movement gained ground yet many unanswered questions exist. (Suzanne Weiss, The Progress of Education Reform, Education Commission of the States, vol. 1, no. 5, January-February 2000)...

A Partial Reference List on Standards MS Word - A selected reading list on standards. (Education Commission of the States, July 1998)...

Informing Grades 1-6 Mathematics Standards Development: What Can Be Learned From High-Performing Hong Kong, Korea and Singapore? - AIR chose the three Asian countries because of their high performance on the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) assessments. The analysis finds a number of features that can inform an international benchmarking process for the development of K–6 mathematics standards in the United States. (American Institutes for Research, December 2009)...

The Proficiency Illusion - No Child Left Behind (NCLB) allows each state to define proficiency as it sees fit and design its own tests. This study compares state tests to benchmarks laid out by the Northwest Evaluation Association to evaluate proficiency cut scores for assessments in 26 states. The findings suggest that the tests states use to measure academic program and student proficiency under NCLB are creating a false impression of success, especially in reading and especially in the early grades. (John Cronin, Michael Dahlin, Deborah Adkins and Gage Kingsbury, Thomas B. Fordham Institute, October 2007)...

Getting State Standards Right in the Early and Middle Grades - State and NAEP assessments are not always aligned, but using the NAEP levels as benchmarks can be useful for gauging state standards. This report from the Southern Regional Education Board explores the progress that their states are making toward meeting the NCLB goals, and the differences and improvements related to state standards and NAEP levels. (Alicia Diaz, Joan Lord and Lynn Cornett, Southern Regional Education Board, 2006)...

Standards Deviation: How Schools Misunderstand Education Policy - Instructional policy reforms that focus on standards and assessments have gained popularity in the past two decades. This policy brief summarizes the findings of a book by the author that examines state and local government relations as standards move from the statehouse to the district policymakers and teachers who attempt to make sense of them. The study is based on data collected from a four-year examination of approaches to the use of standards in nine Michigan districts between 1992 and 1996. This overview: (1) frames the subject of a standards-based reform; (2) discusses the Michigan science and math standards; (3) explores variations in the progress of standards among districts; and (4) discusses implications of the study for policy outcomes, analysis and design. (Jim Spillane, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania, June 2005)...

Surveys of Enacted Curriculum (SEC) - These surveys seek to answer the perennial question: how – and are – the standards being taught in classrooms across the states? Examining teacher survey responses on instructional practices in English language arts, reading, math and science, the data are answering this question and many more, with a view to numerous applications for teachers, administrators, professional development providers, researchers and policymakers. (The SEC Collaborative Project of the State Collaborative on Assessments and Student Standards, Council of Chief State School Officers and the Wisconsin Center for Education Research at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, 2003, ongoing updates)...

Adoption and Adaptation: New York State School Districts’ Responses to State Imposed High School Graduation Requirements: An Eight-Year Retrospective - This report builds upon two earlier studies, and continues to examine the impact of New York State raising the bar for graduation requirements and learning standards on students, taxpayers and school personnel. The authors cite various student performance statistics and test participation rates for the eight school years during the period 1991 to 2000, and present summary findings on school efforts to implement new standards and improve student performance using in-depth survey data. (David H. Monk, Kieran Killeen and John W. Sipple, New York State Educational Finance Consortium, September 2001)...

Models for Alignment Analysis and Assistance to States - The Council of Chief State School Officers has assembled a summary designed to help states align student assessments with academic content standards. The summary identifies four alignment models for states to consider. (Council of Chief State School Officers, September 2002) ...

Staying on Course – Standards-Based Reform in America’s Schools: Progress and Prospects - There is no doubt the American public supports common academic standards for students, measuring results, and holding schools and students accountable for performance. This support, however, will dissipate if tests become viewed as instruments to criticize rather than help schools and students excel. (Achieve, Inc., 2002)...

Standards and Accountability: A Call by the Learning First Alliance for Mid-Course Corrections - Despite positive results in states and districts, there are serious concerns about the implementation of standards-based education, says a new statement from the Learning First Alliance. There are five core areas that require urgent attention: alignment of standards, curriculum and assessments; adequate professional development for teachers and principals; sufficient resources and support for each child to meet high standards; communication about the importance of standards and accountability; balanced and comprehensive accountability systems. (Learning First Alliance, 2001)...

Content Knowledge: A Compendium of Standards and Benchmarks for K-12 Education - This publication expands and updates standards information in five subject areas: English and language arts, science, math, technology and foreign language. It presents standards and benchmarks for primary, upper elementary, middle school and high school, synthesizes information from more than 135 documents and reports, which address what students should know and be able to do. (Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning, 3rd Edition, 2000)...

Exploring Rapid Achievement Gains in North Carolina and Texas MS Word PDF - A 1999 report by RAND Education to the National Education Goals Panel concludes that the most plausible explanation for test score gains in North Carolina and Texas is those states’ focus on aligning assessment, data collection, accountability policies and other aspects of their education systems with standards. (David Grissner and Ann Flanagan, National Education Goals Panel, November 1998)...

Improving Student Achievement: What NAEP Scores Tell Us MS Word - A July 2000 report by RAND Education concludes that the education reforms of the 1980s and 1990s seem to be working, but some states are doing far better than others in making achievement gains and elevating their students’ performance compared with students of similar racial and socioeconomic backgrounds in other states....

Rating the Standards MS Word - The quality of state content standards has been the focus of several major evaluations over the past five years. While the methodology and specific findings of the evaluations differ, all have reached roughly the same conclusion: A number of states have established standards that are models of clarity and rigor, but a troublingly large number of state standards are vague, shapeless and inadequate. This link takes you to a document about various state ratings. (1999-2000)...

Judging Standards in Standards-Based Reform MS Word - Discussions of standards-based education reform are not all sweetness and light. Questions are raised about standards and their effects on children's education. This essay tries to provide a coherent way to think about issues and questions related to standards-based education reform. It focuses on the first step, which is developing the standards that educators and the public use to identify what students should learn. Having a set of criteria for evaluating these standards as they are developed provides a useful way to gauge the consequent reforms. (Ivor Pritchard, The Council for Basic Education, July 1998; reprinted with permission)...

Standards-based Systemic Reform in Nine States MS Word - Beginning in the mid- to late-1980s, state policymakers began to rethink their strategies for influencing curriculum and instruction in public education and adopted a policy strategy known as standards-based, systemic reform. (Diane Massell, Michael Kirst and Margaret Hoppe, Consortium for Policy Research, June 1998; excerpt reprinted with permission)...

Are Academic Standards a Threat or an Opportunity? MS Word - Discusses the standards movement in which a great deal of progress has been made; and yet, on the other hand, some of the standards-driven reforms represent significant threats to students, principals and teachers. (Christopher T. Cross and Scott Joftus, NASSP Bulletin, September 1997; reprinted with permission)...


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