History Sample Essay: History of Standards Based Movement

History of Standards Based Movement

Reforms in the educational standards have been key features in the United States education system since the formation of a movement in the 1900s. The movement aimed at having state-wide similarity in academic standards, particularly through incorporation of reforms in the curriculum, attitudes of parents and instruction materials for education. Through creation of links between high school education standards and college education standards, the movement organized a summit in 1989 which involved the then president, George Bush Senior and all the governors of states.

The summit culminated into the adoption of education goals assigned to the millennium which were based on content. After this, the Clinton administration, followed by the Bush Administration both focused on the achievement of these goals through various programs such as Improving America’s Schools Act (Hamilton & Yuan, 2008) and the No Child Left behind Act. Discussions regarding the achievement of the millennium goals focused on understanding student expectations of the education system and aligning the fundamentals of the system to the student needs.

Despite the agreement to set common standards across the states, the key challenges in implementing the reforms have how to make the decisions regarding what the standards should be, how and by whom they should be set and how to evaluate performance. Even in these, the confusion still sets in through the inability to decipher between the performance standards measured through examinable evaluations and the content standards which are based on the descriptions of subject matters. Even with all these arguments, it is necessary to align the content of education deliveries with the instruction modes and to find ways through which curriculum, materials, instructions and standards can all be aligned for the benefit of all the students (Brown, 2009).


Brown, B. (2009) Standards-Based Education Reform. Curriculum Research & Development      Group, University of Hawaii, June 2009, pp. 1-24.

Hamilton, L.S. & Yuan, K. (2008) Standards-Based Reform in the USA. Washington, DC:            Center on Education Policy.



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