Where Standards Come From

Bradley, Rebecca


McClure, p. (2005). Where standards come from. Theory into Practice, 4(1),4-10. doi:  10.1207/s15430421tip4401_2

In this article Phyllis McClure gives a brief and very clear historical overview of how the standards movement originally arose. In the simplest terms, in the past folks thought that children from privileged backgrounds would rise to the top to occupy positions of power and leadership while those less fortunate would get an adequate education for their lower stations in life. As time went by this policy was deemed unjust, which led to the idea of common curriculum standards for all students. 
The article goes on to mention key court decisions that pushed standards forward as well as the financing structure of schools that needed to be overhauled. It also touches on the fact that expecting all students to meet the same high standards has caused a lingering “achievement gap.” The article ends with information about the emergence of Title 1 and the No Child Left Behind Act and states that the standards movement shows no sign of being a “fad” or going away anytime soon. 
I recommend this article to anyone who has little or no idea of how the standards movement came about in our country. In particular, this article would be helpful to people who are just starting out in the field of education or who might have been in another profession while all of these significant shifts were occurring. In my case, I was living outside the US from 1991 to 2009, so I found the overview McClure provides in this article to be very helpful. 

Standards: Who, What, Where, and Why

Jolene Nechiporenko


McClure, p. (2005). Where standards com from. Theory into practice, 4(1),4-10.
     doi:  10.1207/s15430421tip4401_2

Have you ever wondered where educational standards come from?  If so, start by reading this article in which the author does a nice job of simplifying and explaining the history and current development of standards. 

She explains that common standards are “rooted in the struggle for equal education.”  Keep in mind that several different factors can contribute to inequality: socioeconomic conditions, minorities, etc.

In the early 1990s an achievement gas was recognized and addressed by a congressionally mandated study that suggested “There was a clear difference in standards, expectations, and curriculum” between states and schools.

in 1993 federal grants were given to state departments to develop curriculum and/or content standards.

In 1995 brought about the reform of professional development and teaching.  “The inequalities in the delivery of funding of educational and the achievement gasp between school and among groups of students could not be seriously addressed without setting uniform guidelines and regulations for the teaching profession.

McClure also mentions the implementation of Title 1 programs.