example, appears to be a valuable way to educate them about new instructional approaches and encourage them to integrate tasks important for students to learn.

FOR FURTHER ANALYSIS

  • What types of national leadership can influence states with widely varying capacities and prevent further stratification?

  • What types of supports will states need to strengthen their capacity to carry out standards-based reforms successfully?

  • How can states be encouraged to implement new governance structures compatible with standards-based reforms?

◦ ◦ ◦ ◦

“No matter what anybody decides about standards and assessment procedures, the most important thing to look at is how they can be linked to the community within which they have to be used.”

Brigitte Jordan

◦ ◦ ◦ ◦

NEXT STEPS

The wide range of issues covered during the workshop reflects the newness and the complexity of standards-based reform, and the discussions reflected a widespread enthusiasm for the possibilities for genuine improvement embodied in the standards-based reform movement. The possibilities for effective reform are especially exciting to many educators today in the light of new research on how children learn, what kinds of nontraditional learning environments are best suited to learners, and how teachers' understanding of the educational process can affect the development and uses of standards.8

Many decisions will have to be made in the near future for the vision of reform to become a reality:

  • the national standards-setting committees will continue their work;

  • states will continue (or begin) to implement Goals 2000;

  • the U.S. Department of Education will begin to develop regulations for Title I and parameters for the National Assessment of Educational Progress; and

    8  

    Ann Brown, personal communication, October 1994.



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Anticipating Goals 2000 example, appears to be a valuable way to educate them about new instructional approaches and encourage them to integrate tasks important for students to learn. FOR FURTHER ANALYSIS What types of national leadership can influence states with widely varying capacities and prevent further stratification? What types of supports will states need to strengthen their capacity to carry out standards-based reforms successfully? How can states be encouraged to implement new governance structures compatible with standards-based reforms? ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ “No matter what anybody decides about standards and assessment procedures, the most important thing to look at is how they can be linked to the community within which they have to be used.” Brigitte Jordan ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ NEXT STEPS The wide range of issues covered during the workshop reflects the newness and the complexity of standards-based reform, and the discussions reflected a widespread enthusiasm for the possibilities for genuine improvement embodied in the standards-based reform movement. The possibilities for effective reform are especially exciting to many educators today in the light of new research on how children learn, what kinds of nontraditional learning environments are best suited to learners, and how teachers' understanding of the educational process can affect the development and uses of standards.8 Many decisions will have to be made in the near future for the vision of reform to become a reality: the national standards-setting committees will continue their work; states will continue (or begin) to implement Goals 2000; the U.S. Department of Education will begin to develop regulations for Title I and parameters for the National Assessment of Educational Progress; and 8   Ann Brown, personal communication, October 1994.

OCR for page 21
Anticipating Goals 2000 the new National Skill Standards board—also established by Goals 2000—will convene and begin to evaluate and certify national standards defining knowledge and competencies required for clusters of jobs in the U.S. economy. Throughout this process, the Board on Testing and Assessment will continue to foster dialogue and provide support and information to policy makers on standards and assessment issues. The issues and questions raised during the workshop are the beginning of a long-term systematic effort by the board to help identify and answer difficult questions. Many follow-up activities are already planned: The board has launched a major committee study of the effects of Goals 2000 on students with disabilities, as mandated in the act. This study, which will take two years to complete, will have important implications for the next stages of standards-based reform, especially as it affects issues of inclusion, accommodations for students with special needs, and other equity concerns. In addition, the board is planning: orientation briefings and discussion meetings for federal agency; in-depth analysis of performance standards methods, comparison of approaches being tried in various states and/or other countries, and policy implications; the exploration of technical issues pertaining to implementation of Title I testing and evaluation requirements; the development of technical analyses and policy options regarding the status of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) under Goals 2000; the development of forums for teachers to discuss their role in standards-based reform; the establishment of mechanisms to help the media improve the coverage of test-based information on schools and labor market performance; and convening of regular inter-agency discussions on links between educational and occupational skill standards issues. ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ “It is clear that we lack the precision that a lot of people would like to have in these areas. I hope that we will recognize the lack of precision and that we are careful not to do any harm when we clearly don't understand all the problems.” Richard Atkinson ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦