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A Policy History of Standards-Based Education in America


Boyce Brown

A Policy History of Standards-Based Education in America is a narrative history of the development of standards-based education in the United States over the last several decades, from the perspective of anarchist cultural studies. There have been other books on the evolution of federal education policy, but few have struck the right balance between describing how it actually happened while still providing a theoretical framework, and none have kept the focus specifically on standards-based education. These related books have also rightly noted the great diversity of players, factions, interest groups, and organizations that helped move federal education policy from «equity», to «excellence», to «accountability» over the last four decades. This book goes on to make the original claim (using a rigorous analysis of the historical record) that big business was the primary empirical driver behind standards-based education and «global economic competitiveness» was the primary ideological driver. Finally, the book concludes by interrogating the implicit claims embedded within global competitiveness ideology; that the present international economy will continue as it has indefinitely, which is mathematically impossible. Unless things change quickly, this planet is heading toward economic, environmental, and geostrategic shocks of the very first order of magnitude. An eco-pedagogy for anarchist bioregions might be part of the solution.
The leading markets for this book will be major public and Division 1 research university libraries and university courses in education policy, education law, education history, political science, and public policy.


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4 Federal Education Policy Conflicts over Standards-based Education during the Bush and Clinton Year (1988–2000)


· 4 · federal education policy conflicts over standards- based education during the bush and clinton years (1988–2000) How did standards- based education as we recognize it today come to be such an accepted and integral part of federal education policy, and what obsta- cles had to be overcome for this to occur? In this chapter, I will look at the role specific corporate leaders, governors, teacher union leaders, and others played in shepherding bills like America 2000 (Bush, 1990, 1991; Chira, 1992; Kolb, 1998; Miller, 1991a,b,c,d; Miller, 1992a, b, c, d; National Council on Education Standards and Testing, 1993; Stedman, 1991; Stedman and Riddle, 1992; Tirozzi, 1991; United States Congress, 1991a; United States Department of Education 1991; Winfield and Woodward, 1992) and Goals 2000 (A Goals 2000; Berlak, 1995; Clinton, 1993; Purpel, 1995; United States Congress, 1994a,b; United States Department of Education, 2005) through the legislative process, as well as the social and political contexts of this effort (Diegenmueller, 1995; Firestone, 1997; Jennings, 1998; Kosar, 2005; Resnick and Nolan, 1995; Standards: Struggling, 1995; Starr, 1998; Stoskopf, 2000; Thompson, 1999; Vinovskis, 1999a, b). In this chapter, I will also examine the “standards wars.” These controversies erupted after the initial promulgation of voluntary model national standards, especially in history (Cheney, 1994; Johnson and Diegenmueller, 1995; Morrison, 1996), language arts (International Reading Association, 1999; National Committee 60 a policy history of standards-based education in america for Teaching English and International Reading Association, 1996), and mathematics. Paradoxically, at its moment...

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