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A Standard of Measure. Melinda Butler EDCI 650. Standard of Measure. Something established by authority, custom, or general consent as a model or example. As Christians we are held to high standards on how to live a life of service to God and others. Proverbs 3:5-7

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a standard of measure

A Standard of Measure

Melinda Butler

EDCI 650

standard of measure
Standard of Measure
  • Something established by authority, custom, or general consent as a model or example
  • As Christians we are held to high standards on how to live a life of service to God and others
  • Proverbs 3:5-7
  • Colossians 1:10, 3:5-10
  • We are given detailed instruction on how to
    • Make decisions
    • Carry them out
    • Assess how we’ve done

We are also provided with rewards -- 2 Peter 1:8-11

standards in education
Standards in Education
  • Skills and levels of competency that all students must possess in order to move through the educational system.
  • Statements that identify essential knowledge and
  • skills to be learned -- taught.
  • Set by local, state, federal groups`
  • Goal: set clear, high expectations for what all
  • students should know and be able to do at each
  • grade level.
  • Assessed through standardized testing.
the wave of school reform
The Wave of School Reform

National Standards

Meets World Class


America 2000

Goals 2000

A Nation

At Risk

No Child

Left Behind



Criticized schools

Linked decline of U.S. Ability to compete globally

With decline in school quality




Achievement For All

Aligned Professional Development Better Teaching

School Flexibility More Instructional

Time for Remediation.

Guide for



To Improve

Theory of


Based Reform




For Students







benefits of a standard based design
Changes in expectations and accountability needed

This designholds the greatest hope for improving student achievement

Supports good learning and assessment

High expectations

Provides focus for educators

Reinforces “best teaching” practices

Establishes accountability

Benefits of a Standard Based Design

Proponents State:

important structural guidelines
Important Structural Guidelines
  • Standards need to be:
    • Clearly stated
    • Free from jargon
    • Succinct
  • Assessment need to be
    • Aligned with standards
    • Remedial tools
  • Teacher Quality needs to be:
    • Highest quality
    • Supported by professional development
areas of concern
Opponents state:

Little empirical evidence of effectiveness

Difficult for educators to define what students should know

Top-down standards don’t consider “How” children learn

Test driven methods lower quality of education overall

Areas of Concern
leading opponents alfie kohn w james popham
Leading Opponents Alfie Kohn -- W. James Popham
  • “rhetoric of ‘standards’ is turning schools into giant test-prep centers, effectively closing off intellectual inquiry and undermining enthusiasm for learning and teaching” (Kohn, 2000).
  • “standard” is being misconstrued; tricking us into thinking that it will become the new panacea in education while implying standard-based assessments becomes a tool that promotes students’ mastery of these content standards (Popham, 2003).
Making students accountable for test scores works well on a bumper sticker and it allows many politicians to look good by saying that they will not tolerate failure. But it represents a hollow promise. Far from improving education, high- stakes testing marks a major retreat from fairness, from accuracy, from quality, and from equity. --- Senator Paul Wellstone (1944-2002).
high stakes accountability
High Stakes Accountability
  • Concern over high stakes tests:
    • Culturally biased
    • Not objective measures of ability or achievement
    • Used to pass judgment on teaching and schools
    • Affected by inequitable dispersement of funds and resources

If bonuses for high scores are dangled in front of teachers or schools – or punitive “consequences” are threatened for low scores – chances are far greater that a meaningful curriculum will be elbowed out to make room for test-oriented instruction. -- Alfie Kohn, 2000

standards and curriculum design
Standards and Curriculum Design
  • Bottom Line - How to align curriculum with standards to improve student learning.
  • Curriculum alignment - the “match” or fit between the curriculum and the assessment
benjamin bloom
Benjamin Bloom
  • Bloom’s Taxonomy
    • Higher Order Thinking Skills
    • Cornerstone for establishing Behavioral Objectives
      • Earliest form of curriculum alignment
  • Programmed/Mastery Curriculum
    • 1960’s early 1970’s
    • Detailed Learning Objectives formed basis for lesson planning
curriculum alignment design
Curriculum Alignment Design

Fenwick English

Leading Advocate in

Curriculum Alignment









  • Alignment established by working from the curriculum to the test
  • Develop curriculum first then select,adapt, or develop the test that fits the curriculum
  • Alignment established by beginning with the test and working “back” to the curriculum
  • The content of the test becomes the content of the curriculum

Easy - Inexpensive

  • Favorite process when concerns with High Stakes Tests
combining frontloading backloading
Combining Frontloading/Backloading
  • Backloading
    • Aligns curriculum with test objectives to raise test scores
  • Frontloading
    • To develop classroom assessments that are in alignment with existing classroom curriculum
popular designs
Popular Designs
  • Standards Linking
    • Judy F. Carr & Douglas Harris
    • Succeeding with Standards
  • Backward Design
    • Understanding by Design
    • Wiggins & McTighe, 1998
  • Curriculum Mapping
standards linking
Standards Linking


Current State




Curriculum and

Assessment Plan

Action Plan


Student Profile

School Decisions

Supervision and




Development Plan

backward design
Backward Design
    • Identify Desired Results
    • Enduring Understanding
  • Essential Questions
    • Determine Acceptable Evidence –
  • Assessments that are ongoing, varied
    • Plan Learning Experiences
  • Activities, Materials, Resources that guide students to enduring understanding

Develop Lesson Plan

curriculum mapping

Curriculum concepts

Curriculum Mapping

School Calendar


Widely used by school districts


Teachers use it as a tool to keep track of what

Has actually been taught throughout the year then

Modify and refine next years curriculum


Standards and

State guidelines

Collect Data

Use Calendar Based Format

Review Data

May involve Individual or Group

Identify Changes

Neededto Align Curriculum

Major Benefit: School wide input and involvement


Important -

Development of curriculum based on clearly established standards.

Problems -

Accountability through Increased State and Federal Pressures and High Stakes Testing

Effects: General School Structure, Classroom Environment, Teaching Strategies,Student Well Being


  • American Federation of Teachers. (1996). A system of high standards: What we mean and why we need it.http://www.aft.org//Edissues/standards/higstan.htm
  • (Retrieved February 3, 2003).
  • David, J. L., Shields, P. M., Humphrey, D. C., & Young, V. M. (2001). When theory hits reality: Standards-based reform in urban districts, Final narrative report. Menlo Park, CA: SRI International.
  • English, F.W. & Frase, L.E. (1999). Deciding what to teach and test: Developing, aligning, and auditing the curriculum. Newbury Park, CA: Corwin Press.
  • Gandal, M. (1997). Making standards matter: An annual fifty-state report on efforts to raise academic standards. Washington, DC: American Federation of Teachers.
  • Gandal, M.& Vranek, J. (2001). Standards: Here today, here tomorrow. Educational Leadership, September, 59 (1): 6-13.
  • See notes below for continuation of list