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This annual report analyzes the quality of academic standards in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico and monitors the extent to which those standards are driving education reform. The report describes criteria used to evaluate state standards and provides commentary on each state's standards, highlighting areas of strength and pinpointing weaknesses that must be addressed to improve the standards. The report also examines: states' activities and intentions to assess whether students are meeting the standards; whether states are providing extra academic help to students who are having difficulty meeting the standards; and whether states are attaching meaningful consequences to the standards so that students and others take them seriously. Findings indicate that the standards-based reform movement is getting stronger in the states, and the overall quality of state standards continues to improve. Twenty states have incentives to motivate students to achieve a higher standard than required of all students. Recommendations for how states can strengthen their standards and develop policies to support their reform efforts are included. Two appendixes review state documents and present content resources. (SM)

Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Academic Standards, Change Strategies, Educational Change, Educational Improvement, Educational Quality, Elementary Secondary Education, State Government, State Standards, Student Evaluation, Teachers

American Federation of Teachers, 555 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20001-2079; Tel: 202-393-8636; Fax: 202-879-4537.

Autor: Glidden, Heidi


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