Closing the Circle: Making Higher Education a Full Partner in Systemic Reform.Report as inadecuate

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The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) believes that colleges and universities should play a central role in bringing the march to education reform to a successful conclusion. In this position paper, the Federation outlines a program to tackle the issues of standards, teaching, and accountability in education. For school reform to work, higher education must be a full partner. It is essential to develop policies under which colleges and universities make clear what entering students must know and be able to do and work with schools to ensure that the high school course of study and standards of achievement reinforce those needs. The first point is the formation of a partnership for higher standards and student achievement. This partnership will involve four steps related to K-12 partnerships, incorporation of higher education into the Goals 2000 process, curriculum collaboration, and raising the expectations of entering students at the college level. A second necessity is strengthening teacher education, and four steps are outlined to bring this about. Communication is the key to these efforts. A third requirement is enhancing college-level teaching and accountability through attention to counseling, college-level teaching, and goal-setting and accountability. The paper calls for new leadership roles for AFT affiliates in K-12 and higher education and increased technical assistance on the part of the national AFT Office for each of these three areas. Some specific details are given for each area. (SLD)

Descriptors: Accountability, Educational Change, Educational Policy, Elementary Secondary Education, Higher Education, Partnerships in Education, School Role, Standards, Systems Development

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Author: American Federation of Teachers, Washington, DC.


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