Developing Educational Standards: US Government

Developing Educational Standards

US Government

Developing Educational Standards is an annotated list of Internet sites with K-12 educational standards and curriculum frameworks documents, maintained by Charles Hill and the Putnam Valley Schools in New York. Your help with updates or corrections is greatly appreciated. [This page was last updated on February 7, 2000.] -> Return to the Standards index page.

National Assessment of Educational Progress
The National Assessment of Educational Progress, operated by the US Department of Education, bills itself as The Nation's Report Card. While not explicitly tied to particular national or state standards, its reports provide a way of looking at student progress across the country in the eight subject areas the NAEP covers. These are the arts, civics, geography, math, reading, science, US history, and writing. Each subject has its own page that contains findings from related assessments, answers to basic questions about assessment, and standards and frameworks links. The NAEP site currently features results from its 1998 civics and writing assessments. Other assessments include the arts (last given in 1997), geography (last given in 1994; planned for Spring 2001), math (last given in 1996; planned for 2000), reading (last given in 1998), science (last given in 1996; planned for 2000), and US history (last given in 1994; planned for Spring 2001).

National Education Goals Panel
The National Education Goals Panel was set up to monitor progress towards Goals 2000 and to "assess and report state and national progress toward achieving the National Education Goals." From this site you can examine the eight national education goals set up by Congress and state governors, review national and state "scorecards" for 1998 and 1999 that provide data for 34 different progress indicators, and compare the results for up to three states at a time. The site also has a publications page with free ordering instructions and download links for quite a few documents. [Thanks to Kirk Winters of the USDOE for keeping people informed about this and other DOE-related programs via his regular mailings.)

National Skills Standards Board
The Department of Education and the Department of Labor, beginning in 1992, have funded twenty-two Occupational Skill Standards Projects (for example: biotechnology, electrical construction, and human service), each designed to identify the key skills needed for American workers to compete in the global economy. This project, the National Skills Standards Board, has its own web site, lists of standards for each skill, and a variety of bulletins and other publications. (Thanks go to Therese Sarah, formerly of McREL, for updating me about this site.)

Statewide Systemic Initiatives (NSF)
Statewide Systemic Initiatives is a National Science Foundation effort "to encourage improvements in science, mathematics, and technology education through comprehensive systemic changes in the education systems of the states." Its site contains Statewide Systemic Initiatives In Science, Mathematics, & Engineering 1994-1995 - a clickable version of the National Science Foundation's "State Profiles." This is basically a brief description of what each state is doing with to "encourage improvements in science, mathematics, and engineering education through comprehensive systemic change in the education systems of the states." Click on a state to read what that state said it was doing. For the most part, the references to content standards are brief and say no more than that they were doing something at the time the report was prepared. A June 1995 update to this page contains some miscellaneous information about the initiatives along with links to several initiative-releated sites throughout the country. The World Wide Web Home Pages of SSI Programs lists various state home pages.

Among other things, Thomas lets you search both proposed and passed legislation of both the current and last sessions of Congress. An initial search will show the names of all bills containing whatever keyword you typed in. Click on a bill and you can read its text. In addition, you can search the "Congressional Record" in the same way. While such searches will not tell you everything you might want to know about a particular piece of legislation, the results are immediate and the resources you now have at your fingertips are immense. Give these searches a try:

US Department of Defense Education Activity
The Department of Defense Education Activity has published Core Curriculum Standards for language arts, reading math, science, and social studies. Documents can be downloaded in both Adobe Acrobat and MS Word formats. [Thanks to Randy Knuth of NCREL for alerting me to this site.]

US Department of Education
The department's excellent web site has a huge amount of good information for teachers, administrators, students, parents, and the general public about a wide range of educational activities, research, funding opportunities, and news. Some of the department's most relevant pages are shown below.

US Department of Education
The US Department of Education has its own search site that allows you to search the department, any of its agency web sites (NCES, for example), or a Cross-Site index page that can access some 150 DOE-connected sites. It also maintains a searchable set of research summaries of ERIC Digests from 1992 to the present. Typing in the word "standards" turns up documents about such topics as social studies, the public perception of standards, and standardized tests.

White House
President Clinton spent part of his 2000 State of the Union speech talking about educational standards; the White House has put the whole text on line, with background materials appearing on a separate page. You can also get an idea of how the DOE plans to pursue the president's ideas at the Secretary's Initiatives page. [Thanks to Kirk Winters of the USDOE for keeping many of us informed about White House and DOE programs via his regular mailings.]