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Standards and Assessments: Where We Are and What We Need

Abstract

This paper discusses corrections to standards-based reforms that many state initiatives need to take in order to develop more productive systems of accountability. The author includes a case example of a state (Connecticut) that has developed a thoughtful approach which provides a useful model of reform.

"States and districts that have relied primarily on test-based accountability emphasizing sanctions for students and teachers have often produced greater failure, rather than greater success, for their most educationally vulnerable students. More successful reforms have emphasized the use of standards for teaching and learning to guide investments in better prepared teachers, higher quality teaching, more performance-oriented curriculum and assessment, better designed schools, more equitable and effective resource allocations, and more diagnostic supports for student learning."

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