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The Nature and Limits of Standards-Based Reform and Assessment: Defending Public Schools


reviewed by Carl B. Frederick — April 22, 2009

coverTitle: The Nature and Limits of Standards-Based Reform and Assessment: Defending Public Schools
Author(s): Sandra Mathison and E. Wayne Ross, (Eds.)
Publisher: Teachers College Press, New York
ISBN: 080774901X, Pages: 224, Year: 2008
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A considerable amount of ink has been spilled in the battle over standards, accountability, and high stakes testing. As its title implies, this edited volume is opposed to the current system of standards and accountability. It stands out from other critiques by expanding the debate beyond various implementation strategies to address questions about whether standards and accountability systems can achieve the goals of public schools. In their own words, the editors hope to provide a “holistic understanding of the nature and limits of standards-based educational reforms and, in particular, the ways in which current assessment practices influence the quotidian experiences of students, teachers, administrators, and parents in public schools,” (p. xxiv). The first essay, written by Mathison, sets the current educational policy regime in historical context by tracing the roots of educational assessments and how they dovetail with the curriculum standards movement. The distinction she draws between the technical and... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: April 22, 2009
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 15622, Date Accessed: 10/22/2017 5:53:36 AM

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About the Author
  • Carl Frederick
    University of Wisconsin-Madison
    E-mail Author
    CARL B. FREDERICK is a PhD candidate in Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research interests include the causes and consequences of grade retention and the impact of schools on civic participation. His recent publications include “Have We Put an End to Social Promotion? Changes in School Progress among Children Aged 6 to 17 from 1972 to 2005,” published in Demography, and co-author of “Grade Retention in the Age of Standards-Based Reform” in Standards-Based Reform and the Poverty Gap: Lessons for No Child Left Behind, edited by Adam Gamoran.
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