For decades, the standards-based education (SBE) framework, developed in the 1990s and early 2000s, has broadly guided and shaped the purposes of schooling, the measures of school and student success, and the parameters for meting out rewards and sanctions across state and local systems. The Aspen Education & Society Program and The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching have partnered to release Looking Back to Accelerate Forward: Toward a Policy Paradigm that Advances Equity and Improvement, an unbiased review of the accomplishments and unintended consequences of 30 years of standards-based education in the United States.
After educational disruption associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and amid a national conversation around systemic racism, we are at a critical juncture. This paper reflects on what we have been doing, evaluate how well it has worked—especially for students of color, students from low-income backgrounds, students with disabilities, and English learners—and how we move forward toward defining the next education policy agenda that will help ensure all children receive the education they need to thrive in school and beyond.
See the release and discussion of the findings in the report below: