Standards for Our Schools: How to Set Them, Measure Them and Reach Them

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This timely, tough-minded book shows how American public schools can be saved by instituting high standards for academic achievement. Standards for Our Schools explains not just what the standards movement is about and why it is important, but also what it will take to bring every student up to high standards, no matter where that student starts. The authors show how a single-minded focus on achievement will change everything?from the kinds of curriculum materials we use and the design of elementary and middle ...
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Overview

This timely, tough-minded book shows how American public schools can be saved by instituting high standards for academic achievement. Standards for Our Schools explains not just what the standards movement is about and why it is important, but also what it will take to bring every student up to high standards, no matter where that student starts. The authors show how a single-minded focus on achievement will change everything?from the kinds of curriculum materials we use and the design of elementary and middle schools to the abandonment of the comprehensive high school and the institution of a diploma based on meeting standards, rather than on attendance. At the heart of this revolution are the performance standards themselves, which provide clear expectations for student achievement by showing examples of standard-setting student work.

Tucker and Codding focus on empowering both students and adults?by giving students the gift of high expectations and by giving school professionals the information, skills, authority and resources needed to do the job. They advocate building a standards-based instructional system, creating a results-oriented culture devoted to continuous improvement, and making the institution and the people in it accountable for reaching the goals set by the standards. This book lays out a step-by-step plan that will get struggling students to high standards as well as improve the performance of high achievers. An extremely practical book, it gives everyone involved in the education of our students the tools they need to do the job.

Standards for Our Schools will be the bible of standards-based education and the foundation on which educators, parents, and policymakers can build the educational system of the future.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The authors combine their expertise to offer a cogent, comprehensive argument for internationally recognized standards of achievement.... This isn't a theoretical statement of purpose, but something much more concrete: the authors offer details on new textbooks and new assignments, rebuilding accountability in the schools from the bottom up.... Educators and concerned Americans could well find this a blueprint for forging great change in our nation's school system." --Publishers Weekly

"A timely book that aims to describe the standards movement, explain why it is important and what steps should be taken to achieve a standards-driven reform effort." --Star (Indianapolis, IN)

"This is more than a book about ?standards.' It is a very significant and fundamental contribution to the national discussion about school reform. Readable, insightful, and provocative, it should be compulsory reading for everyone who cares about the future of education." --Seymour Papert, LEGO professor of learning research, epistemology and learning, The Media Laboratory, MIT

"A must-read for those seeking high standards for all students. With unusual insight, the authors address the major issues, offering inspirational examples of schools that succeed." --Jerome T. Murphy, professor and dean, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The National Center on Education and the Economy, where Tucker and Codding are, respectively, president and v-p of programs, is a well-funded, well-connected nonprofit organization working for standards-based reform. Here, the authors combine their expertise to offer a cogent, comprehensive argument for internationally recognized standards of achievement. Tucker gives an economical component to their argument, while Codding, formerly a high school principal in California, presents interludes throughout the book highlighting her hands-on successes and failures with standards-based education. Tucker and Codding declare in their introduction that educators must "abandon. . .the idea that we are doing our job by sorting youngsters into winners and losers"; in fact, one of the main suggestions in the book is for "an internationally benchmarked certificate standard" that students could pass at any age they were capable. This isn't a theoretical statement of purpose, but something much more concrete: the authors offer details on new textbooks and new assignments, rebuilding accountability in the schools from the bottom up. It is up to their readers to act upon the authors' words. Although probably a bit dry for the average reader, educators and concerned Americans could well find this a blueprint for forging great change in our nation's school system. Feb.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787938949
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 1/28/1998
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.36 (w) x 9.41 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

MARC S. TUCKER is president of the National Center on Education and the Economy and codirector of the New Standards Project, the nation's largest effort to create a system of performace standards for our schools. The creator of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and co-author of America's Choice: high skills or low wages, he also coauthored the prize-winning Thinking for a Living: Education and the Wealth of Nations.

JUDY B. CODDING is vice-president for programs at the National Center on Education and the Economy. A former teacher at the elementary, middle and high school levels, Codding has also been an award-winning principal of one of Los Angeles' toughest high schools as well as of some of the wealthiest schools in New York's Westchester county. She was one of four charter principals who participated in the creation of Theodore Sizer's Coalition of Essential Schools.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

The Authors

Prologue: The View from the Plains 1

Introduction: Failure Is Not an Option 17

Interlude: What Do You Mean, Tiffany Won't Get Credit for Algebra I? 25

1 Setting High Standards for Everyone 31

Interlude: But How Will We Actually Get These Kids to Algebra II? 65

2 Teaching to the Standards 73

Interlude: Upset Victory: Student Achievement 1, Everything Else 0 101

3 Leading and Managing for Success 107

Interlude: The School Nobody Wanted 133

4 Rethinking the Elementary and Middle Schools 139

Interlude: The Graphic Arts Academy 169

5 Beyond the Comprehensive High School 175

Interlude: Accountability, Chicago-Style 209

6 Rebuilding "Central" for Accountability 217

Epilogue: What We Owe Jeff 245

A The National Center on Education and the Economy 251

B New Standards Performance Standards 255

C New Standards Reference Examinations 291

D Resources for Standards-Based Education 301

E Glossary 313

F Annotated Bibliography 323

Notes 331

Index 335

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