Linda_Darl_Hammond_S - Cite This Article as Teachers College Record Volume 106 Number 6 2004 p 10471085 http/ ID Number 11566 Date

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 106 Number 6, 2004, p. 1047- 1085 ID Number: 11566, Date Accessed: 3/8/2006 8:43:00 AM Standards, Accountability, and School Reform by Linda Darling-Hammond — 2004 The standards-based reform movement has led to increased emphasis on tests, coupled with rewards and sanctions, as the basis for "accountability" systems. These strategies have often had unintended consequences that undermine access to education for low- achieving students rather than enhancing it. This article argues that testing is information for an accountability system; it is not the system itself. More successful outcomes have been secured in states and districts, described here, that have focused on broader notions of accountability, including investments in teacher knowledge and skill, organization of schools to support teacher and student learning, and systems of assessment that drive curriculum reform and teaching improvements. The education reform movement in the United States focused increasingly on the development of new standards for students: Virtually all states have begun the process of creating standards for student learning, new curriculum frameworks to guide instruction, and new assessments to test students’ knowledge. School districts across the country have weighed in with their own versions of standards-based reform, including new curricula, testing systems, accountability schemes, and promotion or graduation requirements. The rhetoric of these reforms is appealing. Students cannot succeed in meeting the demands of the new economy if they do not encounter much more challenging work in school, many argue, and schools cannot be stimulated to improve unless the real accomplishments─ or deficits─ of their students are raised to public attention. There is certainly merit to these arguments. But will standards and tests improve schools or create educational opportunities where they do not now exist? What evidence do we have about the success of standards-based reform strategies, especially for the students in America’s urban school systems where educational needs are greatest? In this paper I review evidence about the outcomes of different approaches to standards-based reform in states and districts across the country with an eye toward evaluating whether and how they improve educational opportunities and student learning.
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ALTERNATIVE VIEWS OF STANDARDS-BASED REFORM Some proponents of standards-based reforms have envisioned that standards that express what students should know and be able to do would spur other reforms that mobilize more resources for student learning, including high quality curriculum frameworks, materials, and assessments tied to the standards; more widely available course offerings that reflect this high quality curriculum; more intensive teacher preparation and professional development guided by related standards for teaching; more equalized
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This note was uploaded on 06/29/2011 for the course TAL 647 taught by Professor Dr.williams during the Summer '11 term at University of Miami.

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Linda_Darl_Hammond_S - Cite This Article as Teachers College Record Volume 106 Number 6 2004 p 10471085 http/ ID Number 11566 Date

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