Through Lesson Study, teachers see first-hand the reasons why standards-based instruction is effective." (NCREL, nd) the standards-based classroom has four embedded central strategies:
1) inquiry and problem-solving;
2) collaborative learning;
3) continual assessment embedded in instruction; and 4) higher-order questioning. (NCREL, nd)
III. TEACHER'S VIEWS of STANDARDS-BASED INSTRUCTION OUTCOMES
NCREL relates the statement of Barbara Morgan, a teacher who states that the standards make the provision of a strong focus for learning stating: "I think the standards have helped focus the curriculum so that there is more across the schools and up and down the grade levels. We have an understanding of the content we want kids to learn, but I think we have a long way to go in how the students best learn it and how we get them excited about learning." (NCREL,
According to Kathy Johnson, a teacher of four-grade mathematics and Science at Oak Park Elementary School in Michigan: "The curriculum must represent the most important knowledge, skills, and attributes that schools want their students to acquire because these learning outcomes will serve as the basis of assessment instruments. Likewise, instructional methods should be appropriate for the designed curriculum. Teaching methods should lead to students learning the outcomes that are the focus of the assessment standards." (NCREL, nd)
IV. STANDARDS SUPPORT REVIEW - ALBUQUERQUE PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Standards-based education which is a process designed for the planning, delivering, monitoring and improving of academic programs is reported by the Albuquerque public schools to be beneficial in the following ways:
Standards provide clarity and a fixed point of reference for students and teachers on what content and skills to teach at each grade-level;
Standards guide instruction that is focused on student learning.
Standards provide a common language with which to have conversations about educational attainment.
Standards help ensure equal educational opportunities.
Standards assist in identifying struggling students.
Standards meet federal guidelines. (Albuquerque Public Schools, 2006)
Benefits derived from the standards for key stakeholders are stated to be those as follows:
Teachers - consistent use of standards "makes it easier to analyze the performance of groups of students by and across grade levels. In this way, teachers can identify gaps in the curriculum and areas of low performance by students; a growing body of research indicates that when correctly implemented, standards-based systems increase student learning because they clearly describe learning expectations;
School District Administrators - Standards are useful to administrators because they provide a common reference point for the creation of local curricula and professional development. The standards help resolve debates about what to teach - and they force use of data over intuition in making instructional decisions. They also help establish clear priorities for resource allocation;
Parents - Standards are useful for parents because they indicate expectations for their children. Further, the standards help assure equity. The standards are for all students in all schools;
Teacher Educators - Standards are useful for teacher educators because they establish the content that pre-service teachers will be responsible for teaching; and Students - Standards are useful for students because they clearly describe learning expectations. Students know what they are expected to learn. They know how to meet high standards and are prepared for future academic study, as well as success on the state achievement testing system. (Albuquerque Public Schools, 2006)
SUMMARY & CONCLUSION
Standards-based education is clearly beneficial not only to students but as well is beneficial to teachers, parents, school administrators, and other stakeholders in making a provision of what is required and expected from each of the stakeholders in raising the standards of educational instruction and learning. Standards-based education guides instructional methods through establishing the content that should be learned by students clearly and benefits are increased learning and levels of achievement for students.
Menken, Kate and Holmes, Phillipe (2000) Standards-Based Education Reform and English Language Learner. Framing Effective Practice: Topics and Issues in Education English Language Learners NCBE, 2000.
Albuquerque Public Schools: Standards-Based Education Implementation Plan and District Standards Support Review (2006) www.aps.edu/APS/EISENHOWER/Standards2007.pdf
Standards-Based Education System (2008) U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools. DDESS 2008. Online…