Synopses & Reviews
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The common view today is that state schools are not good enough, and that something must be done to make them better. Setting academic standards is one way to raise the educational achievment of students. Jennings gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at how congress and the Executive Branch have wrestled with this issue, and reviews the major debates about whether or not there should be testable national standards for all American schools.
The common view today is that the public schools are not good enough and that something must be done to make them better. Setting higher academic standards is one way to raise the educational achievement of students. Why wonAEt the idea of national standards and tests go away? How did the country get on the road to establishing such standards in the first place? Author John F. Jennings gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at how Congress and the Executive Branch have wrestled with this issue and reviews the major debates about whether or not there should be testable national standards for all American schools. In addition, the book presents an informative and provocative account of how national leaders in business and government encouraged setting higher academic standards by establishing national standards for the schools; proposing national tests to measure academic mastery by students; and aiding states and school districts to develop their own standards and tests. Researchers and academic practitioners in public policy, educational administration, evaluation, and testing will find this book compelling readinguparticularly as the debate is replayed across the country as state boards of education and local school boards go about the work of requiring, writing, and implementing higher standards for students and schools.
Table of Contents
The need to improve the schools : why raising student achievement through higher standards was first proposed -- Origins of national standards and tests : how President Bush, corporate leaders, and the governors first advanced the idea of raising standards -- The 1992 presidential campaign and the transition to a new administration : how Bush and Clinton differed on education, but how Clinton continued the fight for higher standards which Bush began -- Goals 2000 in the U.S. House of Representatives : how liberals expressed concerns about the fairness of standards, and how conservative opposition to the idea grew -- Goals 2000 in the Senate and the conference committee : how the concept of raising standards triumphed, but only after liberal concerns about equity lost, and increasingly strident conservative opposition was overcome -- The Elementary and Secondary Education Act : how other federal programs were re-fashioned to raise standards, and how this victory further hardened the opposition of the political far-right -- The conservative assault on raising standards to improve the schools : how the conservative opposition tried to undo standards-based reform and failed because Clinton, the business community, and governors fought back -- The elections of 1996 and Clinton's second term : how the conservatives were rebuffed, and Clinton revived the idea of national standards and tests.