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Christopher T. Cross Zayed University College of Education International Education Conference March 31, 2002 Christopher T. Cross Senior Fellow Center.

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Presentation on theme: "Christopher T. Cross Zayed University College of Education International Education Conference March 31, 2002 Christopher T. Cross Senior Fellow Center."— Presentation transcript:

1 Christopher T. Cross Zayed University College of Education International Education Conference March 31, 2002 Christopher T. Cross Senior Fellow Center on Education Policy

2 Christopher T. Cross Essential Issues How did the standards movement evolve? What do the various terms mean? What standards exist? How do standards relate to curriculum, instruction and assessment? How do standards affect teaching? Hurdles, public opinion and the evolving understanding of standards implementation

3 Christopher T. Cross Goal vs. Standard Goal vs. Standard A Standard is a specific statement of what students should know and be able to do in a specific subject. A goal is the end that one strives to achieve, e.g. 70 percent of students will be at the proficient level or higher

4 Christopher T. Cross Types of Standards Content Standard- Description of what students are expected to know and be able to do in a given subject area. For example, “By the end of grade 3, students should be able to do three digit multiplication and division.”

5 Christopher T. Cross Types of Standards Performance Standards – Description of what level of performance is expected by the student. For example, “Students should be able to do 70 percent of problems involving three digit multiplication and division in order to achieve the proficient level>”

6 Christopher T. Cross Types of Standards Teaching Standard- Description of the expected quality of instruction, instructional methodology, and learning projects that teachers offer to students. For example, “The teacher should have specific subject matter and pedagogical training on the curriculum being used in that school and be able to apply that instruction to assist students.”

7 Christopher T. Cross Key Events in Standards Reform A Nation at Risk 1989 First National Education Summit 1990 – National Education Goals Established 1994 – ESEA Amendments incorporating standards Release of voluntary standards 1995 – Data on TIMSS released 1997 – National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future releases report No Child Left Behind law signed

8 Christopher T. Cross Eight Reasons Public Embraced Standards Federal and state commissions dramatize declines in quality of public education Students perform poorly on international assessments Policymakers shift to outcomes measures Achievement gaps by race and gender publicized International comparisons reveal US practice of “tracking” students, raising significant equity issues

9 Christopher T. Cross Eight Reasons Public Embraces Standards (continued) International economic competition creates more rigorous requirements for the average worker Health and education are linked with education seen as a public health issue- NICHD work The educational system becomes a “catch-all” for society. Standards re-center the school’s mission

10 Christopher T. Cross Why are Standards Important? ACCOUNTABILITY- Standards provide the basis for holding both students and educators accountable. EQUITY - Standards address the inequities in teaching and expectations for all students. RAISE THE FLOOR - Standards increase expectations to a new, higher level. SYSTEMIC REFORM - Standards are a cornerstone for related reform components, such as professional development, testing, etc.

11 Christopher T. Cross Montgomery Co., MD Algebra I Cutoff Scores by Grade Whitman Magruder JFK Einstein Blair BCC DCBAH.S. Percentage’s Scores Students Need to Achieve a Grade Level Differs Drastically By School

12 Christopher T. Cross Yes to a Graduation Test 70% of adults say that students should have to “pass statewide tests before they can graduate from high school, even if they have passing grades.” 79% of adults support statewide graduation tests if they know that high school students “could take the test several times.”

13 Christopher T. Cross Elements in a Standards-Driven System of Education Establish standards with public input Align curriculum with standards Implement aligned professional development Develop/adopt aligned assessments Create a system of accountability Design a system of continuous improvement

14 Christopher T. Cross A Teacher’s Quote “Not all schools give passing grades for the same mastery of skills and information…This variation is evident from school to school and from district to district, and to deny the variation would be totally naive.” Susan Schwartz, Physics Teacher, Montgomery, Co, Maryland

15 Christopher T. Cross A Standards-Driven System Leaves Many Issues for Local Decisions Staff hiring, firing and evaluation Length of school day and year Professional development Funds allocation Graduation Requirements Issues of equity and opportunity

16 Christopher T. Cross Example of a Strong Standard in English Language Arts “Locate and analyze elements of plot and characterization and then use an understanding of these elements to compose a short essay on how the qualities of the central characters determine resolution of the conflict.”

17 Christopher T. Cross Example of a Strong Standard in English Language Arts “Evaluate the structural elements of the plot (e.g. subplots, parallel episodes, climax), the plot’s development, and how (and whether) conflicts are (or are not) addressed and resolved.”

18 Christopher T. Cross Criteria for Standards Criteria for Standards Important subject matter Rigorous Balance of knowledge and skills Developmentally appropriate Specific Measurable Clear and concise Can be taught Created with public support and involvement

19 Christopher T. Cross State of the State Standards Ed Week reports that 49 states have standards in the core subjects Only 17 states have report cards with data that is disaggregated by race Only 20 states require that report cards be sent home, only 10 have similar school data

20 Christopher T. Cross State of the States Assessments State of the States Assessments 15 States use only test score data Another 15 states also use other factors (such as portfolios, grades, etc) For failed schools, 9 states can close that school, 15 others can reconstitute it 17 states make graduation contingent on exams, only 6 are based on 10 th grade or higher performance

21 Christopher T. Cross Structure of a Standards System Philosophy & Mission Statement Goals Content Standards Performance Standards Assessments Curriculum Course Objectives Instructional Unit Objectives Instructional Activities District & Class Assignments Teaching Strategies Materials Texts Resources

22 Christopher T. Cross Students Unruffled by Standardized Tests Tests ask Fair Questions 80% Other topics are not neglected 77% I’m taking the right number of tests 67% When I take a test I get nervous, but I can handle it 67%

23 Christopher T. Cross Teachers and Parents See Change Percentage of parents saying: “In my community the public schools have higher academic standards than the private schools” % %

24 Christopher T. Cross Teachers and Parents See Change Percentage of teachers saying: “My school automatically promotes students when they reach a maximum age” % %

25 Christopher T. Cross Teachers and Parents See Change (continued) Percentage of teachers saying: “The number of kids at my school going to summer school for remedial purposes has increased.” % %

26 Christopher T. Cross What should your school district do when it comes to the effort towards higher standards

27 Christopher T. Cross Students Standards: Major Hurdles and Dilemmas High stakes politics Technical design of accountability systems Public communications and engagement Coalition building Impact on one’s own child

28 Christopher T. Cross Original and Modified Theories of Standards-Based Reform Ambitious Standards Aligned Assessments School Accountability Clear & High Expectations for All Guide for Improvement Motivation to Improve Aligned Professional Development System School Flexibility Better Teaching More Instructional Time for Some Students Higher Achievement for All Original Theory

29 Christopher T. Cross Original and Modified Theories of Standards-Based Reform Ambitious Standards Expectations for Instructional Practice Aligned Prof. Development Aligned Assessment School Accountability School Flexibility Clear & High Expectations for Students Guide for Improvement Motivation to Improve Better Teaching More Instructional Time for Some Students Higher Achievement for All Modified Theory


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