All tag results for ‘politics and education’

Is High-Stakes Testing Highly Unrealistic?

February 11th, 2007

Lois Christie | Ananda Mahto | Dawn Parrish | Christopher Wood
Standards-Based Curriculum and Instruction

Testing has always been commonplace in schools—and while students have had to take tests for years, the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) was first administered in 1926; high-stakes testing is largely the result of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. The intention of standardized tests is to capture student educational achievement and compare results of different schools in different districts. Parents and politicians are demanding more accountability by increasing the focus on a school’s academic record in addition to a student’s academic performance. These tests are now used to make policy decisions that extend beyond impacting only students; the standardized tests have become high-stakes tests for multiple stakeholders. The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) is an example of a high-stakes test. The purpose of this paper is first to examine whether it is appropriate to use high-stakes test like the FCAT for high-stakes decisions and secondly are there better ways to assess students, teachers, and schools.

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Educational Reform through a Standards-Based Approach

December 10th, 2006

Standards-Based Curriculum and Instruction

Before one can look at educational reform critically, one needs to first ask why reform has taken place. Analysis from a naïve or overly simplistic perspective will simply point to education reform being the result of changing needs of students or of the overall population. However, such a view will not immediately shed light on some of the more political influences that have pushed education reform over the years, nor will it illustrate the role teachers—as opposed to policy-makers—can play in promoting effective change.
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The Potential Negative Effects of a Hidden Curriculum

July 10th, 2006

Foundations of Curriculum and Instruction

“Mom! I’m home.”
“Hi Dear! How was school today? What did you learn?”
“Well… I learned about the Vikings… and I learned how to add fractions… and I learned that it is disrespectful to talk to Johnny while the teacher is giving us a lesson.”

Admittedly, the above dialog is not entirely likely, but it illustrates what a child might say if he or she were aware of what is referred to as the hidden curriculum in education. Few of us will argue that all that we learned at school was contained in the subject matter we were taught. If we were to carefully look back upon our scholastic experience, we would realize that the experience was one that was full of socialization. We learned what an appropriate response to an insult would be; we learned that we should address adults with respect; we learned that it is proper to queue for things instead of shoving our way to the front of the line. Indeed you could say that we were not just taught our right from left, but also our right from wrong. That is exactly where the hidden curriculum becomes tricky. Should moral education be a part of a school’s curriculum, or is this something that should be left to the socialization a child gets at home?

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