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What Educational Resources Do Students Need to Meet California's Educational Content Standards? A Textual Analysis of California's Educational Content Standards and Their Implications for Basic Educational Conditions and Resources


by William S. Koski & Hillary Anne Weis 2004

This article examines the statutory and policy framework for California's standards-based reform and accountability scheme and argues that this scheme, not unlike others throughout the country, fails to ensure that all children are provided with the necessary resources and conditions to achieve at the high levels prescribed by the state's content standards. Although California has developed a comprehensive standards-based reform scheme that includes challenging educational content standards, curriculum frameworks tied to those standards, and accountability mechanisms that are based on performance on standards-based assessments, the state has never attempted to ascertain the basic educational resources and conditions to which all children should have access in order to achieve at the level of the state's content standards. In an effort to begin to fill that missing policy link, the article then summarizes a systematic analysis of the text of California's educational content standards and supporting materials, which analysis demonstrates that the state itself expects that children will have access to certain educational resources and conditions in four areas - facilities, technology, instructional materials, and teachers. Striking among the conclusions of the analysis is the extent to which California requires that children have access to modern technology, including computers, software, and the Internet. Less surprising, but no less important, is the extent to which the state's content standards assume that all children have access to quality facilities and instructional materials, ranging from laboratory equipment and sophisticated measuring instruments to well-stocked libraries and media centers. The article concludes by calling on the state to analyze its own content standards and curriculum frameworks to develop a complete basket of educational resources and conditions that all children should receive to have an opportunity to achieve the state's standards.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 106 Number 10, 2004, p. 1907-1935
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 11676, Date Accessed: 12/15/2018 7:01:03 AM

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