STUDY ON PERFORMANCE STANDARDS IN EDUCATION

International Organization

U.S. Department of Education, Office of the Under Secretary and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Years of Data Collection

1994

Purpose Through the Goals 2000 education reform legislation, the federal government is supporting state efforts to develop or adopt content and performance standards for their school children; it also establishes a National Educational Standards and Improvement Assessment Council to certify state-submitted standards and assessments. Legislation reauthorizing the largest federal elementary and secondary education programs requires as a condition of federal funding that U.S. states submit state plans describing coherent and challenging content and performance standards that they will establish or use for all children, as well as what the states will do to enable children to meet these standards.

Because the potential influence of such standards is so great, and because the complexity of implementing them in our diverse educational systems is so challenging, U.S. policy makers seek to learn through cooperation with other countries that already have substantial experience in developing and implementing education standards, particularly the members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. In order for this international experience to have an impact on the standards being developed in the United States, it must be compiled, analyzed, and disseminated before subject-area standards are finalized and disseminated in the United States.

In order to obtain the required information and analyses on education standards in other countries, the U.S. Department has contracted an agreement with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. In carrying out this agreement, a series of approximately eleven discrete analytical reports will address the question: What can the United States learn through interaction with member countries of the OECD about how to set and implement subject-matter standards (especially performance standards)?

Through this study the OECD is developing the following products:

  • A series of approximately eleven brief written analyses (ten country specific and one cross-national) resulting from the analyses on education standards.

  • An annotated compilation of standards-based assessment materials from selected OECD countries (as appropriate, these may be in the form of appendices to the country specific or cross-national written analyses).

  • Brief written records of meetings between officials and educators from the participating countries and the OECD.

Organization and Management In accordance with OECD work underway in 1993 on school effectiveness, the OECD is responsible for the following for this study: coordinating the work of obtaining the required information and analyses on education standards; providing its expertise, staff, and consultant time to link expert researchers and policy makers from OECD countries with their counterparts in the United States; and contracting with expert consultants to conduct the analyses on education standards, and carry out other specific analyses.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 97
International Comparative Studies in Education: Descriptions of Selected Large-Scale Assessments and Case Studies STUDY ON PERFORMANCE STANDARDS IN EDUCATION International Organization U.S. Department of Education, Office of the Under Secretary and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Years of Data Collection 1994 Purpose Through the Goals 2000 education reform legislation, the federal government is supporting state efforts to develop or adopt content and performance standards for their school children; it also establishes a National Educational Standards and Improvement Assessment Council to certify state-submitted standards and assessments. Legislation reauthorizing the largest federal elementary and secondary education programs requires as a condition of federal funding that U.S. states submit state plans describing coherent and challenging content and performance standards that they will establish or use for all children, as well as what the states will do to enable children to meet these standards. Because the potential influence of such standards is so great, and because the complexity of implementing them in our diverse educational systems is so challenging, U.S. policy makers seek to learn through cooperation with other countries that already have substantial experience in developing and implementing education standards, particularly the members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. In order for this international experience to have an impact on the standards being developed in the United States, it must be compiled, analyzed, and disseminated before subject-area standards are finalized and disseminated in the United States. In order to obtain the required information and analyses on education standards in other countries, the U.S. Department has contracted an agreement with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. In carrying out this agreement, a series of approximately eleven discrete analytical reports will address the question: What can the United States learn through interaction with member countries of the OECD about how to set and implement subject-matter standards (especially performance standards)? Through this study the OECD is developing the following products: A series of approximately eleven brief written analyses (ten country specific and one cross-national) resulting from the analyses on education standards. An annotated compilation of standards-based assessment materials from selected OECD countries (as appropriate, these may be in the form of appendices to the country specific or cross-national written analyses). Brief written records of meetings between officials and educators from the participating countries and the OECD. Organization and Management In accordance with OECD work underway in 1993 on school effectiveness, the OECD is responsible for the following for this study: coordinating the work of obtaining the required information and analyses on education standards; providing its expertise, staff, and consultant time to link expert researchers and policy makers from OECD countries with their counterparts in the United States; and contracting with expert consultants to conduct the analyses on education standards, and carry out other specific analyses.

OCR for page 97
International Comparative Studies in Education: Descriptions of Selected Large-Scale Assessments and Case Studies The U.S. Department of Education Office of the Undersecretary is responsible for funding the OECD for its activities for this study; designating a project officer to serve as a single point of contact for liaison with the OECD; reviewing, providing comments, and approving all statements of work, proposed consultants, draft reports, and schedules for completion of specific subtasks; and consulting and coordinating with other offices within the Department of Education and other federal government agencies that have significant ongoing activities in the area of education standards (for example, the Office of Educational Research and Improvement and the National Academy of Sciences). Design Participants Australia, Canada (Ontario), England and Scotland, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Spain, Sweden, and the United States Sample Not applicable. Procedures and Summary of Content Country studies: Written essays may emphasize distinctive features in a country's system and whether the writer considers them as strengths or weaknesses. They will address: reasons for concern about standards differences in student achievement setting and monitoring standards procedures and methods (who sets the standards; how are they managed and financed, how are consistency and fairness achieved, what factors influence standard levels, what are the mechanics of the standards setting process, what constitutes a performance standard? how are performance standards applied, how and when are standards reviewed, how is attainment of performance standards determined, how are instruments constructed and scored, how are attainment and analyses reported, and are there provisions for testing and scoring children with special needs?) preconditions and problems policy formulation and decision-making the international dimension (what is the value of comparing procedures in OECD member countries for setting performance standards?) Data Collection and Analyses Analytical activities being used are: Country-specific technical studies of the development and implementation of subject-area standards and standards-based assessments, with special emphasis on performance standards (i.e., the levels at which students are expected to perform). The specific countries being analyzed were selected by mutual agreement of the OECD, the U.S. Department of Education, and the countries themselves. The studies are based on interviews and discussions with relevant officials and analyses of primary and secondary data sources.

OCR for page 97
International Comparative Studies in Education: Descriptions of Selected Large-Scale Assessments and Case Studies Of particular interest in designing and carrying out these studies are: the policies, procedures, criteria, and threshold(s) set for passage and how and by whom they are determined; techniques of mediation of scores or ratings, arbitration and review procedures, and the outcomes of these techniques; procedures for students to meet the standards; the use, methodology, and success of “performance-based assessment;” whether and how performance standards are or have been used in OECD countries to assess educational institutions and local-government education agencies, for purposes of continuous improvement and accountability. Comparative studies that synthesize and analyze the information gathered under the country-specific work carried out under the country-specific technical studies. Timetable 1994 Country reports will be in final draft. (Fall) Synthesis paper will be prepared. (Fall) Publications To be determined. Database No data base is available to the public at this time. Funding Funding is provided by the U.S. Department of Education. Information Sources Marshall S. Smith, Undersecretary U.S. Department of Education 400 Maryland avenue, S.W., Room 3127 Washington, D.C. 20202 telephone: 202/ 401-3132 facsimile: 202/ 401-3036 R.A. Cornell, Deputy Secretary General Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development 2, rue Andre-Pascal 75775 Paris Cedex 16 FRANCE telephone: 33-1-45-24-82-00 facsimile: 33-1-45-24-85-00

OCR for page 97
International Comparative Studies in Education: Descriptions of Selected Large-Scale Assessments and Case Studies U.S. Department of Education and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development 1993 Agreement Between the U.S. Department of Education Office of the Undersecretary and The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C. and OECD, Paris, France. U.S./OECD Study on Performance Standards in Education: Quality, Curriculum, Standards, Assessment: Guidelines and Questions for Country Studies. U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C. and OECD, Paris, France. ****** NOTE: This study summary was reviewed and edited by Lenore Garcia at the U.S. Department of Education Office of Planning Services in Washington, D.C. on June 8, 1994; Lenore Garcia provided database information on February 17, 1995.