There are numerous amounts of changes that the American society is undergoing. Some of these changes have a great impact on the lives of students as well as teachers in schools. Starting since the late 1980s, the push towards subject matter standards and stardardized testing has contributed to a strong force which influnces what is being taught in schools in the United States. The step in creating an education system based on subject matter standards accumulated momentum right through the 1990s. The federal government took its first initiative action in The National Education Summit in Charlottesville, Virginia in 1989, where a certain set of educational goals were estalished. The first Bush administration originated the development of standards. Bill Clinton carried on these set of standards as well in his administration, followed by the second Bush administration, in he also continued this effort. One of these goals were the “Standard-Based Education” which is defined as specifying the academic knowledge and skills that all students should be expected to demonstrate at each grade level. Many Americans consider and believe that by using a set of national educational standards will improve the level of learning for students. Nonetheless, at the start of the 21st century, there was a growing sense of unease and corncern towards these standards.
The critiques of SBE, resistance to implementation,
Over the years, there have been a large amount of concerned teachers about a standard based education. Advocates of a more traditional way of educating believe and stand firm that it is just simply not a realistic manner to expect that all students perform and achieve at the same level as students who are doing better. They also think that is it not fair to punish those students for the sole fact that they do not perform at well as the other students who are more academically challenged. A great amount amount of schools and educators only “teach to the test”, which then results in many important topics that are not being taught and tested. Others who are in protest with SBE believe that this does not give students the opportunity to learn and achieve on a higher scale. These critics put forth the argument that these unrealistic standards are unfair and is a great disadvantage to the system. They firmly believe that all students learn in different ways and at different levels and even test differently. Wealthier schools have the advantage of enjoying better resources and facilities, other schools have do not have that advantage of the greater resources to be competing with the wealthier schools. On top of that, many standardardized test are full of problems such as bias in tests, errors in the grading system, and confusing test questions. It needs to be brought to attention that not all students are great test takers even though they preform at an average level in school. Some teachers prefer the old-fashioned assessments, where students are actually given the chance to have their performance evaluated, as opposed to their answers to a paper and pencil test. An assessment allows and demands that students demonstrate what they have learned in different areas to accomplish a task that is not only challenging to the student, but also shows their creativiness. To be able to demonstrate something that is real will motivate students and is possibly more relevant and fair that standardized tests.
The results of SBE for equity and excellence (your informed opinion and evidence),
Standards are like guidelines. A standard based educations is able to measure what students know and what they need to learn. The expectation for a student’s performance, is therefore, increased. The curriculum, assessments, and even professional development are coordinated to these certain standards. Teachers are then able to improve their teaching stategies, if need be, to help students and it is also made easier for the public to evaluate schools. By creating a standard based education, it makes students not only academically, but economically competitive. A common set of standards develops and encourages cooperation. Educators and principals in schools will be able to work together to identify problems that are at stake, create instructional and educational solutions, and work as a team to carry out make sure that students meet these standards at their highest potential. Standards and test prepares students for the real world. Standards that spread across the nation in the educational system will unify the nation. Students will then learn about their common heritage. Standards and tests allows educators to compare a student’s performance and what it actually takes to be able to earn an “A” grade in all schools. It allows for everyone to be able to determine those who are really learning and understanding, and those who are not. Proponents of SBE for equity and excellence argue that American students, as opposed to other nations are lacking and need help with basic skills such as math and literacy. A standard based education is a way to measure how well American schools are doing. There is also a strong belief that these standards and test are a way of measuring student achievement and the knowledge students have gained.
Conclude with your projection of the future of the movement and its importance for you as a teacher.
Due to the great importance carried out by standards and testing, educators are caught in a place where they are forced to either spend all of their time preparing students for the test or helping them cheat in order to succeed. I do not think that it is quite necessary for standardized testing to be take out of the education system. These standards and tough testing should be used as an informational factor to see in what areas students need more help on. It should not be used as a way to measure what is going on in certain schools and definitely should not be used to make underlying decision and judgement about certain individuals. I think that when developing a culiculum it is essential to keep in mind the certain materials within the standards and tests, however, it is even more important to allow your students to learn and grow at the same time. It is as important to include standard objectives that teach students to perserve the past, nonetheless, we should not be limited by it. Students need to learn effectively in the present, and prepare for the future, and the curriculum should be adapted to these changes.