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The various ways that standards and standards-based education are being addressed around the United States are described. The education community can trace the start of the modern standards movement to the publication of "A Nation at Risk" in 1983 (National Commission on Excellence). The first education summit in 1987 then became a catalyst for the establishment of content area standards by national subject-matter organizations. The second education summit in 1996 strengthened the movement for individual states to create their own standards. A number of ways that a school, district, or state might implement standards has been identified. These are grouped into three basic categories that may be used individually or in combination: (1) external tests; (2) performance tasks and portfolios; and (3) reporting on individual standards. Regardless of the implementation model that is used, the school district (or state or school) must consider the issue of levels at which students will be held accountable for meeting specific standards. The option of being standards-referenced, with students not held back if they do not meet standards, as opposed to standards-based, with students held back for failure to meet standards, is something a district must consider. Another issue that cuts across standards concerns is that of taking a conjunctive approach, which requires students to reach the minimum performance level on all standards, or a compensatory approach, which allows performance on one standard to influence performance on others. (Contains 22 figures and 159 references.) (SLD)

Descriptors: Accountability, Curriculum Development, Educational Assessment, Educational History, Educational Objectives, Educational Trends, Elementary Secondary Education, Performance Based Assessment, Program Implementation, Standards, Test Use

Autor: Marzano, Robert J.


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