Title

Standards-based Reform: Leaving the Teachers Behind

Publication Date

7-1-2007

Degree Name

MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management

First Advisor

Janaki Natarajan

Abstract

With the national implementation of a revised model of standards-based reform public education, brought about by the authorization of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (Public Law 107-110), it is important to assess its consequences not simply on our schools as a whole, i.e. do they pass or fail, but also and significantly on the educators who teach the children in those schools. Working with a select group of new K-6 educators in the District of Columbia Public Schools, this qualitative case study sets out to ask the question, How does local school-based professional development on academic content standards impact the teaching of new preK-6 ESL teachers? After conducting interviews, reviewing important documents, and conducting observations this case study revealed that standards-based reform as promulgated by No Child Left Behind is leaving the teachers behind. This is not in the best interest of the children, nor the District of Columbia Public Schools.

The policy-makers who prescribe standards-based reform and design professional development to support its implementation might benefit from learning about the findings from this study, but the greater potential for change will come from the educators themselves. Teachers need to participate in a broader struggle for greater social, political, and economic justice, if they neither want the children nor themselves to be “left behind”.

Disciplines

Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Teacher Education and Professional Development

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