Standards: How High is High Enough?

Achieve Policy Brief

Achieve, Inc., the organization formed by governors and CEO's to track and promote standards-based reform in American K-12 education, recently published a short "policy brief" dealing with the vexing issue of how high to set the bar for high-school graduation. In particular, this 7-pager grapples with whether a state should "set the bar high and risk a backlash when large numbers of students fail to reach it" or "set it relatively low and risk allowing students to continue to graduate without attaining the necessary knowledge and skills." The brief, unfortunately, does a better job of framing the problem than offering solutions. But it gives a few examples of how states have tackled the issue; urges higher education and employers to become more intimately involved with bar-setting (by creating, for example, a "unified system" of high school exit and college entrance); and sketches some "promising practices". Contact Achieve, Inc. at 400 North Capitol Street NW, Suite 351, Washington DC 20001; phone (202) 624-1460; fax (202) 624-1468; or surf to www.achieve.org.

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