English, Reading Groups Signal Plan To Develop Standards

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

Professional associations representing English and language-arts teachers have tentatively decided to spend $1 million to develop student standards for their disciplines independently of the federal government's efforts.

The governing body of the National Council of Teachers of English last month approved expenditures of up to $500,000 to continue work on such standards, while the executive committee of the International Reading Association recommended committing a similar amount to the undertaking.

The I.R.A.'s governing body was scheduled to consider the proposal this week at the group's annual convention in Toronto.

In conjunction with the Center for the Study of Reading at the University of Illinois, the two associations had been picked by the U.S. Education Department to establish voluntary national standards for English and language arts.

The department in March withdrew its financial support, however, citing a variety of concerns about the progress and direction of the project. (See Education Week, March 30, 1994.)

Richard Long, the associations' Washington representative, said the I.R.A. and the N.C.T.E. expect to complete their work by June 1995.

As a result, he said, the two groups' standards should be ready before those developed by the new grantee selected by the department to continue the project.

At the time the groups' funding was discontinued, department officials said they would try to have another group in operation by early fall. But a department spokeswoman last week said that timing now appears to be optimistic.

Groups Seek Support

Meanwhile, the I.R.A. and the N.C.T.E. are seeking the support of other professional groups.

At a meeting last month, the English and language-arts associations asked the Alliance for Curriculum Reform to pass a motion calling on the Secretary of Education to continue supporting and funding professional organizations and their partners in the development of standards.

The steering committee of the alliance, a coalition of professional groups involved in curricular issues, is expected to take up the matter next week.

Mary Lindquist, the chairwoman of the alliance, said the group wanted to be supportive of its fellow professionals but would not take action until the situation has been thoroughly examined.

"I don't want this to kill all of us,'' said Ms. Lindquist, a former president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

The N.C.T.M. was the first group to establish national standards outlining what students should know and be able to do. It did so without federal funding.

Other members of the alliance questioned whether the N.C.T.E. and the I.R.A. could continue working with the department, given the major philosophical differences in their approaches to setting standards. The associations have focused on process, while federal officials have urged that the standards be content based.

Vol. 13, Issue 32

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories

Viewed

Emailed

Recommended

Commented

Sponsor Insights

Stop cobbling together your EdTech

Integrate Science and ELA with Informational Text

To Address Chronic Absenteeism, Dig into the Data

Can self-efficacy impact growth for ELLs?

Disruptive Tech Integration for Meaningful Learning

5 Game-Changers in Today’s Digital Learning Platforms

Keep Your Schools Safe and Responsive to Real Challenges

Hiding in Plain Sight - 7 Common Signs of Dyslexia in the Classroom

The research: Reading Benchmark Assessments

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

All Students Are Language Learners: The Imagine Learning Language Advantage™

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

How to Support All Students with Equitable Pathways

2019 K-12 Digital Content Report

3-D Learning & Assessment for K–5 Science

Climate Change, LGBTQ Issues, Politics & Race: Instructional Materials for Teaching Complex Topics

Closing the Science Achievement Gap

Evidence-based Coaching: Key Driver(s) of Scalable Improvement District-Wide

Advancing Literacy with Large Print

Research Sheds New Light on the Reading Brain

3 Unique Learner Profiles for Emerging Bilinguals

Effective Questioning Practices to Spur Thinking

Empower Reading Teachers with Proven Literacy PD

Dyslexia: How to Identify Warning Signs at Every Grade

Increased Social Connectedness Through Digital Peer Learning

Student Engagement Lessons from 3 Successful Districts

Response to Intervention Centered on Student Learning

The Nonnegotiable Attributes of Effective Feedback

SEE MORE Insights >