Important Information About State Education Standards
According to Washington, D.C.’s Education Trust, education standards are “public statements regarding what all students should know and be able to do in academic subjects.” These statements are made public so that schools know what to aim for, and how to prepare their students. In other words, a teacher’s curriculum depends on these public standards. Without the standards, teachers would be able to teach as much – or as little – as they decided.
Education standards may be applied to a variety of subjects, including mathematics, science, English literature, writing, geography, the arts, and even second languages. In the United States, individual states determine which subjects should be prioritized and what the standards should be.
These standards are developed at the state level because it is the state’s right, and responsibility, to maintain education. Though there is a national Department of Education, the federal government does not dictate how states maintain their educational systems. There is communication between the state-level and federal Education departments, especially in more recent years since the passing of law No Child Left Behind.
Additionally, it is important to note that the standards are created by a group of individuals. Scholars, teachers, and policymakers discuss, debate, and eventually reach a consensus regarding what students need to know. More recently, the nation has introduced the Career and College Readiness standards. It is up the individual states to decide how they want to align.
Because of these individual standards, some states have decided to offer the TASC test as it aligns better with their standards than other high school equivalency (HSE) tests. States who have partnered with McGraw-Hill Education CTB offer the TASC test at test centers throughout the state, and test takers who pass the TASC test earn an official equivalent to a high school credential – which enables them to pursue postsecondary education and be more competitive on the job market.
Are you unsure of the education standards in your state? Use Education World’s interactive map to find out more information, and explore your state’s Department of Education.