School improvement policy for the past few decades has been characterized by mandated lists of activities designed to stimulate a dramatic turnaround in student achievement. In the long run, this policy approach did not engender the necessary school-level changes. This brief demonstrates why new policies must aim to get the right people in our schools and to create district and state systems that retain those people and build their knowledge and skills.
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13 Feb 2015
Content standards, not performance standards, have been almost the sole focus of state policies and recent conversations about academic standards. Aiming High: Setting Performance Standards for Student Success shows that state performance standards are consistently low and extremely variable across states. To address this issue, states should adopt evidence-based methods for setting standards, such as the benchmark method, to ensure students are prepared to compete in the global marketplace.