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Journal of Basic Writing (CUNY), v28 n2 p93-102 Fall 2009

Standards are the criteria we use to judge competence, and the incarnation of some version of the issue of standards has woven in and out of education policy for the last thirty years. Unfortunately, much of the discussion has been ideological, rigid, and cast in either/or terms. In this essay, I use examples from basic writing and freshman composition to try to reclaim the notion of standards for use in the classroom. I conclude with an extended illustration of how a teacher's standards, more broadly defined, might play out in considering whether and how to teach the old standard, James Joyce's short story Araby.

Descriptors: Academic Standards, Freshman Composition, Basic Writing, Student Experience, Student Evaluation, Teaching Methods, English Literature

Kingsborough Community College City University of New York. Available from: Boyd Printing Company, Inc. 49 Sheridan Avenue, Albany, NY 12210. Tel: 800-877-2693; Tel: 518-436-9686; e-mail: info[at]; Web site:

Autor: Rose, Mike


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