Standards or standardization? Problem solving and control at two elementary schools
Many consequences of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) and other standards-based reform efforts have been well documented, but that's not the case for the effects of these initiatives on standardizing school practices. Evidence generated in this comparative case study of two elementary schools, one higher performing and the other lower performing, suggests that the standardization of educational practices is another high stakes effect of NCLB and its related standards-based reforms that have important consequences for teachers and students. First, as schools reorganize to focus on standardization, tensions between form and function affect the qualifications of teachers working with the lowest performing students in particular. Second, distinctions between collaboration as a form of problem solving and as a form of social control affect teachers' responses to planned change efforts and influence the local standardization process in general. These observations raise troublesome issues related to the kind of policymaking implicit in NCLB itself.
0535: Reading instruction