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Departamentul De Psihologie i Formare n Educaie
Specializarea: Psihologie, anul II, anul univ. 2014-2015

National Standards in Education

Titular curs:


National Standards in Education

Goals 2000 Educate America Act specifies standards for providing learning opportunities. It
is necessary for schools to be responsible for their students results and that responsibility
must be measurable.
An Act To improve learning and teaching by providing a national framework for education
reform; to promote the research, consensus building, and systemic changes needed to ensure
equitable educational opportunities and high levels of educational achievement for all
students; to provide a framework for reauthorization of all Federal education programs; to
promote the development and adoption of a voluntary national system of skill standards and
certifications; and for other purposes.

A standard is defined as something established by authority, custom, or general consent as a

model or an example, a criterion by which judgments or decision may be made.
The first function of any standards is to transmit information from those who have the
knowledge to those who need and can use the knowledge. (Albert Batik)
Americans feel the need for standards in nearly every part of their lives. They expect strict
standards from each domain of life.
In their point of view, standards are created and perfected because they improve the quality of
life. Without them, life would be chaotic, unpredictable and dangerous. Another opinion says
that everyone who lives in civilized society enjoys the protection and predictability that
standards provide.

The term standard in education means different things to different people and it

has three common uses, each with distinct meaning and purpose. These are:
Content standards describe what teachers are supposed to teach and students are

supposed to learn.
Performance standards- answer the question How good is good enough?
Opportunity to learn or school delivery standards- define the availability of

How to measure Opportunity to Learn Standards


Very important is the fact that national content and performance standards could help filling
the gap between the advantaged and disadvantage students. In other words, one of the goals
may be the achievement of equality in education. This fact is also questionable, not all the
students may response to the same methods of education. It is obvious that, for example,
students with disabilities or those who come from poor families or minority groups should be
treated different when discussing Opportunity to Learn Standards.
Measuring how well each school is offering opportunities to learn is difficult because it will
appear the risk of transforming these standards into checklists of resources or amount of
contents. Because expectation could cause a failure for schools where there are a great
number of disadvantaged students, decreasing the level of expectation is not an option. The
solution is to increase the level of opportunities to learn.
This can be measured by taking into account several factors:

Time spent on learning

Money spent on trainings

The degree of teachers preparation

Covered curriculum

What National Standards Are and How They're Being Set

The voluntary national standards will describe what all students should know and be
able to do at certain grade levels. The standards will encourage students to use their

minds well, to solve problems, to think and to reason.

Voluntary national standards will provide a focus, not a national curriculum; a
national consensus, not federal mandates; voluntary adoption, not mandatory use; and

dynamic, not static, applications.

Mathematics standards are already in use in many classrooms. Standards in science,
history, civics and government, geography, English, economics, foreign languages and
the arts are now being developed by teachers and scholars. The input of state and local

leaders, parents and citizens is also being sought.

The voluntary national standards are meant to be a resource to be used by parents,
teachers and all citizens as one guide to high standards. They can be used by schools,
districts and states to guide and revise curricula, assessments, teacher preparation and
instruction. All of the elements should be aligned so that everyone and everything
involved in education work together to help students learn more.

National standards do not have to be in place before states and communities can begin
to develop their own standards. Indeed, some states have already introduced high
standards into their classrooms. States and communities can develop their own
standards or modify and adopt those developed under national consensus.

Under the Goals 2000: Educate America Act, federal funds will flow to states and
communities to help them develop their own rigorous standards and implement their own
programs of school reform to help their students achieve the higher standards.
Higher expectations for all students. High standards and enriched course content
produce better student performance. All students can learn more than we currently ask
of them. When we expect more of students, they work harder and achieve more.
New approaches to teaching. Helping students meet challenging standards requires
new ways of teaching. Teacher preparation and professional development programs
need to be overhauled and improved.
Making schools accountable we need to give schools the tools and flexibility to do
their job, and then hold them responsible for results.
Building partnerships. We've learned that schools can't do it alone. Parents, educators,
students, business, labor and public, private and nonprofit groups need to be active
partners in the reform effort.
Conclusion: As a conclusion, we must underline that the standard-based education has
encountered positive reactions and also obstacles in its implementation. Being progressive
but also wanting to maintain balance, the reform has its success, providing a way to create
evolution. The barriers appear when people rise their mental barriers, which means that one
of the solution for overcoming the problems in education based on standards consists in
increasing our tolerance level and expand the limits of our mind.
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Editura Universitatii Transilvania Banks, J. A. & Banks, C. A. M. (2010).
Multicultural Education, Issues and perspectives. Wiley
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