Source
Administrator Magazine
Scholastic Administrator is a must-read resource for 240,000 of today's results-driven school leaders. Every issue features leadership for education executives, insight and analysis into what's next in education, and reporting on cutting-edge technologies in real life applications.

One Nation, One Test

When President George Bush’s State of the Union speech and proposed budget for next year were rolled out in January and early February, national standards and tests went unmentioned. But that hasn’t stopped proponents from pushing the issue harder—and more successfully—than any time in the past 10 years.

A series of reports and studies has shown that state testing standards vary widely from state to state. A report from Stateline.org recently shed light on states with NCLB pass rates, based on state tests, that varied from 38 percent (South Carolina) to 92 percent (Maine, North Dakota). Most of these state tests are set much lower than the National Education Assessment Program, the nation’s report card.

A bipartisan group of education organizations, along with Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Representative Vern Ehlers (R-MI), kicked off the new Congress by introducing legislation that would fund the creation of new standards and pave the way for national tests. “The country is on an inexorable march toward national education standards,” said Michael Dannenberg of the New America Foundation, one of the key proponents of the change.

What remains unclear, however, is whether the nation can finally double-time its way past the practical and ideological roadblocks that have halted it or if it will return to the slow, intermittent march of the past 20 years.

Ten years ago, President Bill Clinton proposed the creation of voluntary national tests in reading and math, but congressional Republicans who worried about federal involvement in local decisions, and others who were apprehensive about its impact on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), stopped the initiative.

This latest proposal, touted by the conservative Thomas B. Fordham Foundation and the centrist New America Foundation, does its best to avoid as many past pitfalls as possible. It focuses on science and math standards, leaving out the controversies of English and language arts. It calls for creating voluntary national standards—as opposed to tests—and gives states grants for adopting them. Several obstacles remain, according to Kevin Kosar, author of a book about the national standards movement. These include lack of sufficient funding to encourage states to adopt the new standards and renewed controversies surrounding evolution and creationism in science.

Others have pointed out that the U.S. already has national standards in the content areas, so creating new ones would not accomplish much. Standards and testing have also taken a beating during the past few years, through NCLB and various testing snafus.  Meanwhile, a consortium of states is working together to develop common standards and tests that might be the nucleus of grassroots national standards.

In the meantime, Education Secretary Margaret Spellings said she “might be willing” to look at a national standards proposal. The House and Senate proposals have begun to pick up cosponsors.

In the end, however, the main obstacles may be the oldest ones. “Republicans don’t like the word national,” Checker Finn of the Fordham Foundation (which is now fighting to get them adopted) quipped back in 1997, “and Democrats don’t like the word test.”

  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    NY State Standards Grade 4

    NY State Standards Grade 4

    This selection of quality Scholastic titles have been aligned to the following New York State standards.

    See below for complete list of titles. Appropriate titles of equal value may be substituted if any of the listed titles are unavailable at shipping time.

    Title/Alignment:
    4.1a
    • New York

    4.2b
    • The Iroquois

    4.2c
    • If You Lived With the Iroquois
    • Life in a Longhouse Village

    4.3a
    • Henry Hudson

    4.3b
    • The New York Colony

    4.3c
    • The French and Indian War

    4.3d
    • Bells of Freedom
    • Heroes of the Revolution
    • John, Paul, George & Ben
    • King George: What Was His Problem?

    4.4a
    • The Bill of Rights in Translation
    • The Bill of Rights
    • The Branches of U.S. Government
    • The Constitution of the United States
    • Worst of Friends

    4.4b
    • Being a Governor

    4.4d
    • Knowing Your Civil Rights

    4.4e
    • Paying Taxes

    4.5a
    • Follow the Drinking Gourd
    • Frederick Douglass Fights for Freedom
    • Harriet Tubman
    • Slavery in America

    4.5b
    • If You Lived When Women Won Their Rights
    • Women's Right to Vote

    4.5c
    • Abe's Honest Words
    • Expanding a Nation/To Preserve the Union
    • I Survived the Battle of Gettysburg, 1863
    • Marching to Appomattox
    • What Was the Battle of Gettysburg?

    4.6a
    • Away West
    • California Gold Rush
    • Westward Expansion

    4.6b
    • U.S. Infrastructure

    4.6c
    • Alexander Graham Bell
    • An Illustrated Timeline of Inventions and Inventors

    4.6e
    • John D. Rockefeller and the Oil Industry
    • Thomas Edison

    4.7a
    • At Ellis Island
    • Coming to America
    • Dreaming of America
    • Hoang Anh
    • If Your Name Was Changed at Ellis Island
    • Immigrant Kids
    • Journey to Ellis Island
    • Lily and Miss Liberty
    • The Memory Coat
    • The Orphan of Ellis Island

    4.7b
    • Duke Ellington
    • Duke Ellington

    $249.00 You save: 30%
    Paperback Book Collection | Grade 4
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    NY State Standards Grade 4
    Grade 4 $249.00
    Add To Cart
  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Common Core State Standards Pack Grade 8

    Common Core State Standards Pack Grade 8

    Support the national framework in education with high-quality children's literature and activities.

    Connect independent reading to the
    Common Core State Standards for ELA (K–8) with rich selections of fiction and nonfiction. Includes: 80 books (60 titles; 1 copy each; 4 titles; 5 copies each), Teaching Guide, bins, title list correlated to standards.

    See below for complete list of titles. Appropriate titles of equal value may be substituted if any of the listed titles are unavailable at shipping time.

    Title list:
    • Common Core State Standard Collection Guide
    • 24/7: Population 1.3 Billion
    • Adolf Hitler
    • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
    • The Adventures of Ulysses
    • Alex Rider: Crocodile Tears
    • Ask Me No Questions*
    • Battle Heroes
    • The Best Poems Ever
    • Black Diamond
    • Bomb
    • Brian's Hunt*
    • Chasing Lincoln's Killer
    • Chu Ju's House
    • The City of Ember
    • City of Light, City of Dark
    • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth
    • Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe
    • The Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming
    • The Dreamer
    • Ender's Shadow*
    • Fever 1793
    • Five Sci-Fi Thrillers
    • Fort Mose
    • Freedom Walkers
    • The Glass Menagerie
    • Guts
    • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
    • The Hunger Games*
    • Hunger Games: Catching Fire*
    • Internet Inventors
    • Joseph Stalin
    • Lincoln Through the Lens
    • A Long Way from Chicago
    • Martin Luther King Jr.
    • Moonbird
    • My Brother Sam Is Dead*
    • Mythlopedia: All in the Family
    • Mythlopedia: She’s All That!
    • Never Say Die
    • Not Your Parents' Money Book
    • Nothing But the Truth
    • The Notorious Benedict Arnold
    • Peak
    • Pemba's Song*
    • Percy Jackson: The Titan's Curse
    • Puppies, Dogs, and Blue Northers*
    • The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano
    • Scholastic Discover More™: The Elements
    • Six Days in October: The Stock Market Crash of 1929
    • Spies of Mississippi
    • Steampunk!
    • Taking Sides
    • Tales from Outer Suburbia
    • Ten Great Mysteries by Edgar Allan Poe
    • Touching Spirit Bear*
    • Truce
    • Up Before Daybreak
    • Walt Whitman
    • White Fang
    • William Shakespeare
    • The Witches
    • Woe Is I, Jr.
    • World War I
    • Years of Dust





    * Titles may contain language or content considered inappropriate for younger readers.

    $499.00 You save: 31%
    Paperback Book Collection | Grade 8
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Common Core State Standards Pack Grade 8
    Grade 8 $499.00
    Add To Cart
Help | Privacy Policy
EMAIL THIS

* YOUR NAME

* YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS

* RECIPIENT'S EMAIL ADDRESS(ES)

(Separate multiple email addresses with commas)

Check this box to send yourself a copy of the email.

INCLUDE A PERSONAL MESSAGE (Optional)


Scholastic respects your privacy. We do not retain or distribute lists of email addresses.