The Need For Federal Government Involvement In — страница 4

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a guarantee of high academic achievement, Resnick and Nolan offer some powerful illustrations of the effectiveness of identifying academic standards and aligning curriculum and assessments with those standards. France is a particularly salient example: * In texts and exams, the influence of the national curriculum is obvious. For example, a French math text for 16-year-olds begins by spelling out the national curriculum for * the year so that all 16-year-olds know what they are expected to study. The book’s similar table of contents shows that the text developers referred to the curriculum. * Moreover, the text makes frequent references to math exams the regional school districts have given in the past. Students practice on these exams to help them prepare for the exam they

will face; they know where to concentrate to meet the standard. (p. 9) In a similar vein, a report published by NESIC, the National Education Standards and Improvement Council (1993), details the highly centralized manner in which standards are established in other countries. For example, in China, standards are set for the entire country and for all levels of the school system by the State Education Commission in Beijing. In England, standard setting was considered the responsibility of local schools until 1988, when the Education Reform Act mandated and outlined the process for establishing a national curriculum. The School Examinations and Assessment Council was established to carry out this process. In Japan, the ministry of education in Tokyo (Manibushi) sets the standards

for schools, but allows each of the 47 prefectures (Ken) some latitude in adapting those standards. According to the NESIC report, “Most countries embody their content standards in curriculum guides issued by the ministries of education or their equivalents.” (pc-51) Additionally, “A national examination system provides a further mechanism for setting standards through specifications of examinations, syllabuses and regulations, preparations of tests, grading of answers, and establishment of cutoff points.” (pc-51) If our children are to survive and excel in the emerging global society, we must give them the tools they need to compete. Whether future generations receive these tools via the “Standards” movement or the “OBE” movement is irrelevant. It is how well our

children can compete with other countries of the world that will insure the United States remains a world leader, a nation united and strong. If this is not a role for the Federal Government, I don’t know what is?