Standards based education reform

One set of proposals for closing the gaps is based in standards-based education reform. Many believe that all students will succeed through a combination of studying other nations; setting clear, attainable world class standards for student performance; using standards based assessment and making significant reforms to teaching and learning, including better preparation and supports for teachers; improved curriculum; and equitable resource distribution.

While many believe that these measures hold promise—they have yet, on large scale, to fulfill their promise. The No Child Left Behind federal legislation indeed requires as a final goal that all students of all groups will perform at grade level in all tests, and show continual improvement from year to year, or face sanctions, though some have noted that schools with the highest number of poor and minorities generally face the greatest challenges to meet these goals. And while there has been some significant narrowing of the gaps, especially at the elementary school level, gaps in middle and high school remain disturbing wide.

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