Essay on Idaho State Standards
The table of contents gives a good overview of the various topics covered in the document which range from teacher training and parent involvement to student rights and funding. It is a little confusing in that there are no page numbers for easy access to specific information. It is organized in ten different “TITLES” with sections under each title listing specific information. The section numbers do not start over with each new title but continue increasing in number throughout the whole document. The document contains 670 pages with well over 9500 sections, (Education, 2001).
It is a little intimidating; therefore, it is valuable to access other documents that can explain in simpler terms how The No Child Left Behind Act applies to the classroom, (Education, 2004). Idaho Standards for Initial Certification of Professional School Personnel are standards for what a teacher should know and be able to do in order to teach in the State of Idaho. A table of contents at the beginning of the document lists page numbers for the Idaho Core Teacher Standards along with all other teaching disciplines.
Since all teacher candidates are expected to meet the Idaho Core Teacher Standards as well as the standards specific to their discipline area(s), it is convenient that the Core Teacher Standards are listed first, along with page numbers showing exactly where to find specific disciplines. Under each discipline the standards are broken down into two areas: “Knowledge” (what the candidate needs to know) and “Performance” (what the candidate is able to do). This easy to follow format allows the reader to easily understand what is expected.
The purpose of the “Idaho Content Standards” is to provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so that teachers and parents can focus on how to teach. The site includes specific standards for each curriculum taught in grades k-12 including: Information and Communication Technology, Health, Humanities, Language Arts, Mathematics, Physical Education, Science, Social Studies, English Language Development (ELD), and Extended Content Standards for Students with a Significant Cognitive Disability.
Details for each standard are listed by topic and grade level with detailed listings of expected goals and objectives. To locate a specific set of standards, go to the topic, such as Science, click on the desired grade level, such as 4th Grade. The documents can be saved to a computer or opened in Microsoft Word. The standards are listed in an easy to read format with student goals and objectives broken into individual items. This allows the teacher to easily build lesson plans to meet the objectives.
The purpose of the “Common Core State Standards” is to obtain a National standard of uniformity in the basic education of children in the United States. The standards define what students should understand and be able to do by the end of each grade. The documents for these standards are accessed through a website that gives an overview of the purpose of the standards. The Common Core State Standards are broken into two areas: first, English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects and second, Mathematics..
Following the links to each area of focus gives access to both electronic and pdf versions of the Standards. Each document contains a table of contents listing each standard with page numbers. Each standard lists subject specific objectives so the teacher will know exactly what the student will be tested on. Task C – Write a short essay describing connections between documents. Similarities Whether it is on a National level, State level or in the home, lawmakers, education boards and parents all want the children to have equal opportunity and support in gaining a good education.
Each of the chosen documents: The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, the Idaho Standards for Initial Certification of Professional School Personnel, the Idaho Content Standards, and the Common Core State Standards are similar in their main purpose which is to improve opportunities and education for every student. They all focus on high standards for education. To support the goals of a good education, each document defines minimum expectations for schools, teachers, and students by stating goals, objective and standards clearly so they can be applied in any teaching setting.
They set high standards that challenge the learning process of both students and teachers. Each document requires some form of testing or evaluation that holds schools, teachers and students accountable for the learning process and results. Differences The differences found in each document are seen when addressing who the individual documents were written for. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 came about in a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965. It was written, to the States, to improve educational opportunities for all students.
It “asks the states to set standards for student’s performance and teacher quality. The law establishes accountability for results and improves the inclusiveness and fairness of American education” for every child, both exceptional and disadvantaged, (Education, 2004),. The Idaho Standards for Initial Certification of Professional School Personnel focuses on the teachers. It updated teaching standards based on the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) model (performance based) set by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
It is strictly focused on the need for teachers to demonstrate what they know and are able to do in order to teach in the State of Idaho. Even though both the Idaho Content Standards and the Common Core State Standards are focused specifically on what the students are required to know, they differ in that the Idaho content Standards was designed to ensure that all children in the State of Idaho master the skills they need to become successful high school graduates who are able to go on to higher education.
Accountability for these standards is done with testing, including the Idaho Reading Initiative (IRI) and the Idaho Standards Achievement Tests (ISAT) The Common Core State Standards is a National initiative to set a standard of learning requirements throughout the United States. Teachers are currently being trained for these standards and testing is being developed. They will be implemented into the teaching curriculum in 2013-2014. Out of the two, the Idaho Content Standards seem to be more detailed and specific, but that assumption may change with additional study and implementation.
Support Education All of these documents support the education process by holding students, teacher and administration responsible for a basic standard of learning and knowledge. The No Child Left Behind Act requires 100% of students master state standards by 2014 (Education, 2004). This spurred the increase in State and National standards for both teachers and students which, in turn, focuses everyone’s attention on better performance and acquisition of knowledge in both the learning and teaching process. Enhance Student Learning
Because every state in America requires teachers to know and use student achievement standards, it is critical that teachers understand the standards required by both teachers and students. The first step a teacher can take to enhance student learning is to learn the required teaching standards. Keep them as a ready reference when writing lesson plans. This empowers the teacher to create meaningful performance goals in the curriculum. The focus can be on the best methods for teaching instead of what to teach.
The teacher can use the required standards for in-class assessment and grading practices. With the criteria on hand, there is no need to wait for the end of term testing to measure and promote desired knowledge and skills. Since assessments are a required part of all of these documents, the teacher can use them to consistently assess and improve learning for both themselves and the student. The standards can be used to assess student knowledge before, during and after the learning process.
This not only gives evidence of achievement but can encourage self-assessment and goal setting for both the student and teacher. Getting parents and student on board by showing them the criteria and desired learning in advance and by providing consistent feedback and motivation is another benefit of using the standards to enhance student learning. Having these documents as a base for learning models gives the teacher confidence and leverage in expectations she can place on students, parents and school administration.
They give power to the teacher to enforce learning because the teacher is carrying out the rules not setting them. In summary, these documents all focus on education standards. Even though they vary and may focus on different entities in the education system, they all work together to support the goal of providing students with the education they need to lead a meaningful and productive life in a fast paced and demanding society.