Standards

The no child left Behind Act was established to ensure that the schools of the United States of America were able to meet the standard required to compete with countries such as China and India (http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?article ID=26115).  It is also aimed at helping students with various disabilities including physical, economic and learning.  It will also benefit the student of African American origin.

It has looked into school standards and ensured that no one will be disadvantaged because of their race or disability.  The schools are to be propely equipped to ensure the standards in all schools are raised so as to produce competent adults who after schooling will be able to compete in the twenty-first century.  It requires yearly progress reports and also quality teachers who qualify for the displine they are to teach.

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The standards are grouped according to the people being targeted.  There are teacher standards, student achievement standards, state laws among others.  In the documents below all the standards are explained and expounded.

Evers, W.M.(2001) Standards and Accountability
Stanford CA.: Hoover Institution Press

Hirsch, E. D. Jr 2001) Curriculum and Competence.
Moe,T.M.(Ed) (2000) A Primer on America’s Schools
Stanford, C.A. Hoover institution Press

New Jersey Core. Curriculum Content Standards
http://www.nj.gov/education/cccs/cccs.pdf.

State of New Jersey Department of Education
http://www.state.nj.us/education/cccs/s1-upa.htm.

 

The state of New Jersey has had a keen interest in eduction since as far back as 1917 where efforts were to improve school heath, safety and physical education.  From the first to the twelveth grade two and a half hours were to be used each week for instruction in health, physical and safety education.(http://www.nj.gov/education/cccs/ccs.pdf).  In 1996 the New Jersey core curriculum content standards for comprehensive health and physical eeducation was adopted to replace it.  The No Child Left behind Act was put in place in 2001.

There are teacher competency standards put in place by the state laws.  A teacher has to be highly qualified and possess the ability to understand the central concepts, how the discipline is structured, the tools required for inquiring and also be able to make the subject matter appealing to the students and also understandable.  This is under the subject matter standard.  There is also the human growth and development standard which demands that the teacher has to have an understanding or the growth of children and adolescents.  They have to be diverse learners who practice teaching that is responsive to the culture.  They should also have long and short term plans for the way they will conduct their instructions.

Teachers must also be able to introduce and implememnt assessment strategies that gauge how well the students have benefited from instructions.  The learning environment should be made conducive while looking into the needs of those children with special needs.  The teacher must be able to communicate the information they have to the students eloquently and clearly.  Collaboration and partnership with the wider community is also essential in development of children aand this includes partnering with parents and the community.  The teacher has to be able to inspire professional development in themselves and also in the students.

Ther are also standards put in place to guide school leaders on how to ensure the success of students.  To begin with they have to first understand then respond and finally influence the political, economic, cultural, social and legal affairs that concern the school.  They must also be able to collaborate with the students’ families and the community to encourage success of students from their significant others.  They should be able to facilitate development, stewardship, articulaton and implementation of school policies while exercising fairness, ethical standards and integrity.  This is also important in the management of the organization, resources and the operations taking place in the school.  They should also be able to introduce a school culture that they can nurture and in the long-run sustain to improve school standards. (http://www.state.nj.us/education/profdev/profstand/standards.pdf).

The students’ standards include maintaining a good grade for aid to continue being approved.  A slip in the standard gotten may lead to stopping of educational financial aid.  There are also laws put in place against bullying.  This was done so as to ensure a condusive learning environment.

The state laws demand that all curricula should be in line with the standards put in place.  The teachers are also supposed to deliver instructions according to the standards and ensure that they conduct assessment of the students along the course.  There is also the accountability system put in place for schools and districts which also includes the requirements of high school graduation.  Some subjects like reading and maths are to be assessed in each grade from first grade to eighth grade and again in the eleventh grade.  Science is to be graded in fourth, eighth and eleventh grade.  The teacher must also be highly qualified in the research based methodologies that are to be used in class (education.state.us/cccs/?-intro-19k-).

At the national scale the New Jersey Department of Agriculture is more concerned with the healthy eating of students to promote their motivation in class to learn.  This they do by providing nutritious food, nutritional education and encouraging physical activity to reduce the number of obese children and adolescents that are in school.  There is also prohibition of certain foods in the vicinity of schools whether selling, promoting or serving them to students.

The state of New Jersey has many documents as seen in the previously part of this paper.  The standards that they speak of are also seen as the objectives since they lead to the goals that are to be achieved.  They are divided according to the grade whereby each grade has specific standards that apply to it although some standards are general.  The statements are clearly explained and thus are understable.  Though it may require a lot of time to get the information needed it is available in the website but one has to try many others before getting what they need.

The documents contain various glaring similarities although there are some differences.  The teacher standards and the school leaders’ standards are all aimed at improving the school standards.  They both require the teachers and leaders to establish a partnership and collaboration with parents so that they can be aable to help the students even from the home setting.  They also involve the community because it is a key component in the success of the school.

Together with the state, they enforce the law against bullying.  This is to ensure that the school has a condusive learning environment for each student.  The students are then able to get quality education regardless of their status in life.

The teachers and the state combined in ensuring the student grades remain impressive.  The teachers conduct assessments that rank the students.  The state provides econonic aid to students which can be denied if the student starts getting poor grades.  The state is also in charge of ensuring qualified teachers are sent to the public schools.  They are supposed to be highly qualified and meet the standards.

The national department of Agriculture has teamed up with the school to ensure the provision of a healthy diet.  This is done by providing education to the students on nutritional facts.  The school reinforces this gesture by ensuring harmful foods are not served or sold in the school compound and also include pysical activity in the curriculum.

All the documents however, differ from each other in what they do to achieve the overall goal of improving education in New Jersey.  They differ in the approach used to reach the end-goal.  There is emphasis on diet, teaching skills, learning environment, financial aid among others that are identified by different documents as being the major components of improvement of education.  They also differ on who is seen as being the one responsible for the improvement to occur.

A teacher would be better off reading the standards put in place and striving to implement them in teaching.  This would aid in abiding by the guidelines while at the same time impacting   the children positively.  By adapting to the prominent culture they would be able to understand the childrens attitudes and behaviours and thus know how best to approach the issue of education with each child

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