The history of standards-based reform goes back to the educational philosophies of Benjamin Bloom, through his 1956 work "Taxonomy of Educational Objectives."  In his work, Bloom discusses the importance of requiring students to develop "higher-order thinking skills," which was a movement away from rote memorized learning.  The philosophies of Bloom were a driving force in the first uprising of standards-based reform, then called "Outcome Based Reform" ( OBE).  Critics of OBE were dismayed by the non-definitive word "outcome," and it was soon changed to the current term, "Standards-Based Reform."

        Standards-based reform first gained momentum in 1983, during the Reagan era, with the federal educational goals and objectives highlighted in "Nation at Risk."  This federal interest in reforming education lasted through the Bush ("America 2000") and Clinton eras, and is currently known as "Goals 2000."  The standards-based reform movement is currently employed by the following states:  California, Colorado, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington.

        The following are links that provide general information about the history of standards-based reform:

Developing Content Standards:  Creating a Process for Change

School Reform:  A Critical Summary

Goals 2000 Legislation and Related Items

North Carolina Statewide Student Accountability Standards: The New Standards at a Glance


Current Models




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