Educational standards define the knowledge and skills students should possess at critical points in their educational career. "Standards serve as a basis of educational reform across the nation as educators and policy makers respond to the call for a clear definition of desired outcomes of schooling and a way to measure student success in terms of these outcomes" (National Research Council 2001). National, state and local educators play an important role in improving student learning through development and implementation of standards throughout the country.
A number of organizations provide general information for those working in research, practice and evaluation of standards-based education. Some sites providing general standards information are linked below:
In response to concerns over the educational achievement of students in the United States, individual states are establishing sets of learning standards defined by grade level or clusters of grades. Curriculum and assessment systems are then organized around these expectations in the core subject areas of English, mathematics, science, and social studies.
The following sites provide resources related to state educational standards for Illinois and its five contiguous states.
The Illinois Learning Standards (ILS) define what students in all Illinois public schools should know and be able to do as a result of their elementary and secondary schooling in the following subjects:
Indiana Academic Standards covers the subject areas of English/language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. These subject areas are further subdivided by K-8, high school, teacher's edition (K-12th) and other standards. Indiana Academic Standards Assessments provide end-of-course tests of what students know and are able to do after taking specific Core 40 courses. They are aligned with Indiana's Academic Standards adopted by the Indiana State Board of Education.
The Standards and Curriculum from the Iowa Department of Education is divided into three units. The first unit, Competency-Based Pathways,is designed to provide competency-focused routes for Iowa students at all levels of education without the need for a waiver. Iowa Core standards, the second unit, includes the expectations that educators are tasked with aiding students in achieving from kindergarten to the 12th grade. The Iowa Core, which is not a curriculum, delineates standards for math, science, English/language arts, social studies, and technological and financial literacy. The final unit, Iowa's Multi-Tiered System of Supports is a decision-making framework that addresses student needs in general education, as well as a mechanism for determining education-system health and adequacy of student support.
Kentucky's Core Academic Standards, or KCAS, encapsulate the minimum required standards that all Kentucky students should learn before graduating from the state's high schools.In addition, Kentucky's Core Content for Assessment version 4.1 denotes the KCAS included in the state assessment for science and social studies. This assessment is conducted through K-PREP, QualityCore® end-of-course assessments and the ACT. English Language Arts and Mathematics K-PREP assessments are also based on KCAS. Assessments for Practical Living/Career Studies and Arts and Humanities are conducted through the Program Review process.
The Show-Me-Standards, approved in 1996, are a set of standards constructed to assist students in building a foundation of knowledge, skills, and abilities to help them succeed after they graduate from Missouri high schools. The standards are encapsulated in the state’s Knowledge Standards Performance Goals The Knowledge Standards are the basic skills and facts students are to be exposed to in the disciplines of reading, writing, mathematics, world and American history, government, geography, science, health/physical education, and the fine arts. The Performance Goals are the four primary educational goals around which academic standards should be grouped.
Achieve State Standards Database is a searchable online collection of academic content standards and benchmarks for K-12 education. Users can subscribe to this tool for a fee to analyze and compare standards from states or countries by subject, grade level, key word or reference category.
Educational standards are often developed by the national organizations supporting those specific disciplines. While nationally mandated standards do not exist, subject-area professional associations have developed national standards in the subject areas listed below:
Standards assist educators in evaluating accomplished teaching. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) developed a process to determine whether a teacher possesses the attributes of accomplished teaching based on their standards in each of the certificate areas. In addition, many national organizations are working to develop standards to assist educators in improving curriculum, instruction, assessment, educator preparation and professional development. Sites listed below provide resources related to standards development.
The following resources include the call number for items physically held by the University of Illinois Library at Urbana-Champaign. Please check the Library Catalog for current location of items.
Content Knowledge: A Compendium of Standards and Benchmarks for K-12 Education. John S. Kendall. Aurora, CO: Mid-continent Regional Educational Laboratory, c1996. (371.26 K334c)
Education on Trial: Strategies for the Future. William J. Johnston, ed. San Francisco, Calif. : ICS Press, 1985. (370.973 ED838)
Expectations of Excellence: Curriculum Standards for Social Studies. National Council for Social Studies, 1994. (307 N21B)
High Standards for All Students. U. S. Department of Education. Washington, D.C.: The Department, 1994. (370.218 H537)
Illinois Learning Standards by Illinois State Board of Education. Springfield, IL: Illinois State Board of Education, 1997. (371.262 Il6x)
Learning Standards for Social Studies. Rev. ed. Albany, NY: University of the State of New York, State Education Dept., . (372.83044 L479 1996)
National Standards and Benchmarks in Science Education: A Primer. ERIC Digest ED402156, 1997.
National Standards for History by National Center for History in the Schools (U.S.). Basic ed. Los Angeles, CA : National Center for History in the Schools, 1996. (907 N213N 1996)
National Standards for Civics and Government. Calabasas, Calif.: Center for Civic Education, c1994. (370.21873 N213)
National Standards for Physical Education. Judith C. Young. ERIC ED406361, 1997.
National Standards in American Education: A Citizen's Guide. Diane Ravitch. Washington, D.C.: Brookings, c1995. (379.1580973 R197N)
The Nine Information Literacy Standards for Student Learning - K-12. Chapter Two: Information Literacy Standards for Student Learning of Information Power: Building Partnerships for Learning. Chicago, IL: American Library Association, 1998. (025.56780973 In3)
A Parent's Guide to the Illinois Learning Standards. Illinois State Board of Education. Springfield, IL: Illinois, 1999. (DOC.IllEd1.2:p24)
Performance Standards: English, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Applied Learning. Washington, DC : New Standards, c1997. (Q.371.262 N479p)
Performance Standards in Education: In Search of Quality. Paris: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Washington, D.C.: OECD Publications and Information Center [distributor], c1995. (371.26 P4161)
Setting Performance Standards: Concepts, Methods, and Perspectives. Gregory J. Cizek, ed. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, c2001. (371.260973 Se784)
Standards for the English Language Arts by the National Council of Teachers of English. Urbana, IL: NCTE, 1996. (808.042071 N213s)
Taking Stock : What have we learned about making education standards internationally competitive? Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1997. (370.21873 T139)
The State Content and Student Performance Standards Setting Process. Improving America's School: A Newsletter on Issues in School Reform. Spring 1996.
The State of State Standards. Washington, DC: Thomas B. Fordham Foundation. (370.21873 St29)
World Class Schools: New Standards for Education. Donald M. Chalker. Lancaster, PA: Technomic Publishing, c1994. (379.158 C351w)