External Influences - Standards

All Research

Why Money Matters for Improving Education

This article explore the relationship between per pupil spending and learning, particularly in developing countries that spend much lower levels in education than do OECD countries. Their findings suggest that, when education systems spend above $8,000, the association between student learning and per student spending is no longer statistically significant. Therefore, they find a threshold effect after this level of resources is met, indicating a declining relationship between resources and achievement at high levels of expenditure (consistent with other recent literature). There is a positive relationship between student learning and per pupil expenditure among the low-spending countries (below $8,000 per student), but a flat relationship among high-spending countries. 

 Vegas, E. (2016).Why Money Matters for Improving Education. Brooking Institutions. Retrieved from https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2016/07/21/why-money-matters-for-improving-education/

Mapping State Proficiency Standards Onto the NAEP Scales: Results From the 2015 NAEP Reading and Mathematics Assessments

Standardized tests play a critical role in tracking and comparing K-12 student progress across time, student demographics, and governing bodies (states, cities, districts). One methodology is to benchmark the each state’s proficiency standards against those of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) test.  This study does just that.  Using NAEP as a common yardstick allows a comparison of different state assessments. The results confirm the wide variation in proficiency standards across states.  It also documents that the significant majority of states have standards are much lower than those established by the NAEP.

Bandeira de Mello, V., Rahman, T., and Park, B.J. (2018). Mapping State Proficiency Standards Onto NAEP Scales: Results From the 2015 NAEP Reading and Mathematics Assessments (NCES 2018-159). U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC: Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics.

Lessons from State Performance on NAEP: Why Some High-Poverty Students Score Better than Others

This research took a more historical look, examining NAEP data over the past decade to find connection between standard-based reform and student outcomes. The findings suggest that there is clear evidence that standards-based reform works, particularly when it comes to the needs of low-income students. The Common Core is the most recent major policy initiative to advance the broader standards-based reform approach. States should continue their commitment to the Common Core’s full implementation and aligned assessments.

Boser, U., & Brown, C. (2016). Lessons from State Performance on NAEP: Why Some High-Poverty Students Score Better than Others. Center for American Progress.

The Center on Standards, Alignment, Instruction, and Learning (C-SAIL)

C-SAIL was established in July 2015 as a resource on the implementation and effects of college and career readiness standards. The Center is funded through a grant from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education.


Edgerton, A. Polikoff, M., Desimone, L. (2017). How is policy affecting classroom instruction?. Evidence Speaks Reports. Volume 2, #14. The Center on Standards, Alignment, Instruction, and Learning (C-SAIL).

Why Urban Adolescents Drop into and out of Public High School.
The author analyzed the economic and social arrangements, school policies and practices, and individual and collective psychologies of adolescent dropouts from a comprehensive high school in New York City.

Fine, M. (1986). Why urban adolescents drop into and out of public high school. Teachers College Record87(3), 393-409.

Highlights From TIMSS 2007: Mathematics and Science Achievement of U.S. Fourth and Eighth-Grade Students in an International Context

TIMSS is designed to align broadly with mathematics and science curricula in the participating countries. This report focuses on the performance of U.S. students relative to that of their peers in other countries in 2007, and on changes in mathematics and science achievement since 1995. This report also describes additional details about the achievement of U.S. student subpopulations. All differences described in this report are statistically significant at the .05 level. No statistical adjustments to account for multiple comparisons were used.

Gonzales, P., Williams, T., Jocelyn, L., Roey, S., Kastberg, D., & Brenwald, S. (2008). Highlights from TIMSS 2007: Mathematics and Science Achievement of US Fourth-and Eighth-Grade Students in an International Context. NCES 2009-001. National Center for Education Statistics.

A new wave of evidence: The impact of school, family, and community connections on student achievement.

Noting that the evidence of families' influence on their children's school achievement is consistent, positive, and convincing, this report examines research on parent and community involvement and its impact on student achievement.

Henderson, A. T., & Mapp, K. L. (2002). A New Wave of Evidence: The Impact of School, Family, and Community Connections on Student Achievement. Annual Synthesis, 2002.

Standards and Accountability in Washington State

Like proponents of standards-based reform in other states, Washington State policy and business leaders assumed that the establishment of a performance-based system would change the behavior of teachers, parents, school administrators, and students.

Hill, P. T., Lake, R. J., Petrilli, M. J., & Cohen, M. (2002). Standards and accountability in Washington state. Brookings papers on education policy, (5), 199-234.

International surveys TIMSS, PISA, PIRLS

In the last 20 years, international surveys assessing learning in reading, mathematics and science have been headline news because they put countries in rank order according to performance. The three most well known surveys are TIMSS, PISA and PIRLS. The survey offer information about international performances for the use of others in order to drive up education standards everywhere. They also emphasise that their aim is to facilitate dissemination of ideas on which features of education systems lead to the best performances.

International surveys TIMSS, PISA, PIRLS. (2017). Cambridge Assessment international Education. 

Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance and Quality Matters.

The purpose of the National Standards for Quality (NSQ) revision initiative is to provide the K-12 online and blended learning community with an updated set of openly licensed standards to help evaluate and improve online courses, online teaching and online programs.

irtual Learning Leadership Alliance and Quality Matters. (2019). National standards for quality online teaching (3rd ed.). https://www.nsqol.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/National-Standards-for-Quality-Online-Teaching.pdf

Building a practically useful theory of goal setting and task motivation: A 35-year odyssey

The authors summarize 35 years of empirical research on goal-setting theory. They describe the core findings of the theory, the mechanisms by which goals operate, moderators of goal effects, the relation of goals and satisfaction, and the role of goals as mediators of incentives. The external validity and practical significance of goal-setting theory are explained, and new directions in goal-setting research are discussed.

Locke, E. A., & Latham, G. P. (2002). Building a practically useful theory of goal setting and task motivation: A 35-year odyssey. American psychologist57(9), 705.

Improving education through standards-based reform.

This report offers recommendations for the implementation of standards-based reform and outlines possible consequences for policy changes. It summarizes both the vision and intentions of standards-based reform and the arguments of its critics.

McLaughlin, M. W., & Shepard, L. A. (1995). Improving Education through Standards-Based Reform. A Report by the National Academy of Education Panel on Standards-Based Education Reform. National Academy of Education, Stanford University, CERAS Building, Room 108, Stanford, CA 94305-3084..

SAT Scores Take a Dip

This article describe about the drop down of SAT score in 2016. 

Mulhere, K. (2016, September). SAT Scores Take a Dip. Money. Retrieved from http://money.com/money/4508286/average-sat-scores-class-2016/

20 Years of TIMMS International trends in Mathematics and Science Achievement, Curriculum, and Instruction

This report attempts to summarize the most important and interesting trends emerging from TIMSS across the past two decades. The report is organized from macro to micro perspectives. The first chapter provides an overview of student achievement worldwide. The second and third chapters explore curriculum and instruction. The fourth and fifth chapters narrow the focus to two topics of interest among policymakers. 

Mullis, I. V., Martin, M. O., & Loveless, T. (20). years of TIMSS: International trends in mathematics and science achievement, curriculum, and instruction. TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center, Lynch School of Education, Boston College and International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA).

Equality and Quality in U.S. Education: Systemic Problems, Systemic Solutions. Policy Brief

This paper enters debate about how U.S. schools might address long-standing disparities in educational and economic opportunities while improving the educational outcomes for all students. with a vision and an argument for realizing that vision, based on lessons learned from 60 years of education research and reform efforts. The central points covered draw on a much more extensive treatment of these issues published in 2015. The aim is to spark fruitful discussion among educators, policymakers, and researchers.

O'Day, J. A., & Smith, M. S. (2016). Equality and Quality in US Education: Systemic Problems, Systemic Solutions. Policy Brief. Education Policy Center at American Institutes for Research.

Lessons from PISA for the United States–Strong performers and successful reformers in education

US President Obama has launched one of the world’s most ambitious education reform agendas. Under the heading “Race to the Top”, this agenda encourages US states to adopt internationally benchmarked standards and assessments that prepare students for success in college and the workplace: recruit, develop, reward, and retain effective teachers and principals. 

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). (2011). Lessons from PISA for the United States–Strong performers and successful reformers in education. OECD Publishing. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264096660-en

Teaching to the test?

American teachers are feeling enormous pressure these days to raise their students' scores
on high-stakes tests. As a consequence, some teachers are providing classroom instruction
that incorporates, as practice activities, the actual items on the high-stakes tests.

Popham, W. J. (2001). Teaching to the Test?. Educational leadership58(6), 16-21.

Report Urges Educators to Avoid Using International Test to Make Policy

This articles suggest policymakers to focus less on the international test and more on how states compare to each other when trying to improve schools. This article also shows how it's not worthwhile to compare school in countries where the conditions are different. 

Rabinovitz, j. (2015, October). Report urges educators to avoid using international tests to make policy. Standford Graduate School of Education. Retrieved from https://ed.stanford.edu/news/national-test-superior-international-ones-assessing-us-schools-says-report

Race Gap in SAT Math Score are as big as Ever

This article show the evidence for a race gap on the SAT math score and some big issues at stake including: the value of the SAT itself; the case for broader policies to take into account socioeconomic background in college admissions; the obsession with four-year college degrees; and the danger of college as a “bottleneck” in the American opportunity structure. 

Reeves, Richard. (2017, February). Race Gap in SAT Math Score are as big as Ever. Brown Center Chalkboard. Retrieved from https://www.brookings.edu/blog/brown-center-chalkboard/2017/02/01/race-gaps-in-sat-math-scores-are-as-big-as-ever/

SAT® Percentile Ranks for 2012 College-Bound Seniors: Critical Reading, Mathematics and Writing Percentile Ranks by Gender and Ethnic Groups

This table allows you to compare a student’s SAT® scores with the performance of other 2012 college-bound seniors who took the test some time in high school. Please keep in mind that relationships between test scores and other factors are complex and interdependent. Other factors do not directly affect test performance; rather, they are associated with educational experiences both on tests and in schoolwork.

SAT® Percentile Ranks for 2012 College-Bound Seniors: Critical Reading, Mathematics and Writing Percentile Ranks by Gender and Ethnic Groups. (2012). The College Board. Retrieved from http://secure-media.collegeboard.org/digitalServices/pdf/research/SAT-Percentile-Ranks-by-Gender-Ethnicity-2012.pdf

Is it time to kill annual testing

Is it time to kill annual testing? An Education Week article.

Sawchuk, S. (2019). Is it time to kill annual testing. Education Week8.

Does school board leadership matter?

School board members and their attitudes do matter—so it’s important to take seriously who gets elected and how. Even as we strive to bring about structural reforms and governance innovations in the education system, we should also be working to get better results from the structures in place in most communities today.

Shober, A. F., & Hartney, M. T. (2014). Does School Board Leadership Matter?. Thomas B. Fordham Institute.

Comparing TIMSS with NAEP and PISA in Mathematics and Science

The purpose of this document is to provide background information that will be useful in interpreting the 2007 results from the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) by comparing its design, features, framework, and items with those of the U.S. National Assessment of Educational Progress and another international assessment in which the United States participates, the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). The report found, because there are differences in the features, frameworks and items of the national and international assessments, direct comparisons among the assessments are not useful. Rather the results from different studies should be thought of as different lenses through which to view and better understand U.S. student performance.

Stephens, M., and Coleman, M. (2007). Comparing TIMSS with NAEP and PISA in Mathematics and Science. U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved from 

Abstract of the United States: 2012

The Statistical Abstract of the United States is the authoritative and comprehensive summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States.

U.S. Census Bureau. (2011). Abstract of the United States: 2012 (131st Edition). [Table 232]. Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/library/publications/2011/compendia/statab/131ed.html

U.S. Education in 2017 in 10 Charts

This article provide charts, graphs, maps, and visualizations of all feature data that Education Week released in 2017 and convey some big takeaways about U.S. schools, students, and teachers in 2017.


U.S. Education in 2017 in 10 Charts. Education Week, December. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.edweek.org/ew/section/multimedia/us-education-in-2017-in-10-charts.html

How does the rich-poor learning gap vary across countries?

This article show different approach that researcher took to answer questions on social gradient in education between the countries. Comparing some of these results highlights weak service delivery in many developing countries. Even where resources may be similar, social gradients are steep in some, indicating much worse educational outcomes for the poor. And public resources are often extremely poorly converted into learning. The differential ability of schools and school systems to convert resources into learning outcomes remains a major impediment to improving educational outcomes, and indeed life chances, for the poor.

Van Der Berg, S. (2015). How does the rich-poor learning gap vary across countries?. Brookings Institution. Retrieved from https://www.brookings.edu/blog/future-development/2015/03/09/how-does-the-rich-poor-learning-gap-vary-across-countries/

Functional curriculum for elementary, middle, and secondary age students with special needs

The chapters in this book deal with areas of expertise that most students will need. For example, self-determination skills, functional academics, transportation, home and community living, as well as work preparation and socialization.

Wehman, P., & Kregel, J. (2004). Functional curriculum for elementary, middle, and secondary age students with special needs. PRO-ED, Inc. 8700 Shoal Creek Blvd, Austin, TX 78757.

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