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Washington’s Standards rate an “F”

What is left off of this statement is information about the rater. The only one to give us an F was the educationally conservative Fordham Foundation. Progressive sets of Standards, such as Washington’s, naturally fared badly with them. Also touted is the fact that California received an A on its Standards. This is not altogether surprising, since a member of the board of the Fordham Foundation helped to write them.

Some specific evidence has recently emerged to solidify the comments above: The Educational Policy Studies Laboratory at Arizona State University did a formal review of the Fordham Institute's "State of State Standards 2006". The full review can be found at Educational Policy Studies Laboratory .The report's summary of the review:

The reviewed report assigns grades to the content standards of 49 states and the District of Columbia, on an A-F scale, and uses those grades as a basis for criticizing schools for lack of progress in improving standards. This review found no evidence supporting the validity of the grades and also found no evidence of a relationship to student academic performance, contrary to the report's conclusions. The report's claims in support of its grading practice were selectively data-mined and were seriously lacking in methodological rigor. Policymakers and educators would be ill-advised to base any decisions about policy or practice on the grades assigned by this report.

On the other hand, others have tried to rate the Standards of different states, and have concluded that it is like rating musical compositions -- too much depends on what you really want to hear. There are other difficulties, too: Sometime in 2004, a large group containing mathematicians, mathematics educators, supervisors, administrators and more gathered to compare and contrast state mathematics Standards. They worked extremely hard and seriously. When they were almost done, they did an informal survey to rate which state's Standards were the most helpful. Of the 48 under consideration, 24 appeared on one response or another. Then they were asked to rate which state's Standards were the least helpful, and the number that appeared was a mere 14. The intersection of the two lists contained 8 Standards.

 

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