Educational policy analysis archives

Educational policy analysis archives

Material Information

Educational policy analysis archives
Arizona State University
University of South Florida
Place of Publication:
Tempe, Ariz
Tampa, Fla
Arizona State University
University of South Florida.
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Education -- Research -- Periodicals ( lcsh )
non-fiction ( marcgt )
serial ( sobekcm )

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
E11-00305 ( USFLDC DOI )
e11.305 ( USFLDC Handle )

Postcard Information



This item has the following downloads:

Full Text
xml version 1.0 encoding UTF-8 standalone no
record xmlns http:www.loc.govMARC21slim xmlns:xsi http:www.w3.org2001XMLSchema-instance xsi:schemaLocation http:www.loc.govstandardsmarcxmlschemaMARC21slim.xsd
leader nam a22 u 4500
controlfield tag 008 c20039999azu 000 0 eng d
datafield ind1 8 ind2 024
subfield code a E11-00305
0 245
Educational policy analysis archives.
n Vol. 11, no. 7 (February 16, 2003).
Tempe, Ariz. :
b Arizona State University ;
Tampa, Fla. :
University of South Florida.
c February 16, 2003
Impact of Minnesota's "Profile of Learning" on teaching and learning in English and social studies classrooms / Patricia G. Avery, Richard Beach [and] Jodiann Coler.
x Research
v Periodicals.
2 710
Arizona State University.
University of South Florida.
1 773
t Education Policy Analysis Archives (EPAA)
4 856

xml version 1.0 encoding UTF-8 standalone no
mods:mods xmlns:mods http:www.loc.govmodsv3 xmlns:xsi http:www.w3.org2001XMLSchema-instance xsi:schemaLocation http:www.loc.govmodsv3mods-3-1.xsd
mods:relatedItem type host
mods:identifier issn 1068-2341mods:part
mods:detail volume mods:number 11issue 7series Year mods:caption 20032003Month February2Day 1616mods:originInfo mods:dateIssued iso8601 2003-02-16


1 of 37 Education Policy Analysis Archives Volume 11 Number 7February 16, 2003ISSN 1068-2341 A peer-reviewed scholarly journal Editor: Gene V Glass College of Education Arizona State University Copyright 2003, the EDUCATION POLICY ANALYSIS ARCHIVES .Permission is hereby granted to copy any article if EPAA is credited and copies are not sold. EPAA is a project of the Education Policy Studies Laboratory. Articles appearing in EPAA are abstracted in the Current Index to Journals in Education by the ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation and are permanently archived in Resources in Education .The Impact of Minnesota's "Profile of Learning" on Teaching and Learning in English and Social Studies Classrooms Patricia G. Avery Richard Beach Jodiann Coler University of MinnesotaCitation: Avery, P. G., Beach, R., & Coler, J. (200 3, February 16). The impact of Minnesota's "Profile of Learning" on teaching and l earning in English and social studies classrooms, Education Policy Analysis Archives, 11 (7). Retrieved [Date] from 1990, the Minnesota State Board of Education dec lared its intention to develop a "results-oriented graduation requirement" based on student achievement as opposed to the usual credit/course c ompletion requirement. In addition to a traditional test of b asic skills, the state began developing the Profile of Learning, a set of performance-based standards grounded in a constructivist educational philosophy, an approach that differs from the content-based standa rds found in many


2 of 37states. The Profile was controversial from its ince ption. Conservatives characterized the Profile as too processoriented and as lacking subject-matter content; teachers reported that the Profile required a significant amount of additional teacher preparatio n time; and parents, who were not adequately informed about the Profile, questioned the purpose of the Profile. Teachers were frustrated wi th the confusing and sometimes contradictory directions they received fr om the Minnesota Department of Children, Families, and Learning char ged with implementing the Profile. In 2000-2001, we surveyed and interviewed selected secondary English and social studies teach ers in the state about their perceptions of the Profile’s impact on teachi ng and learning. Among the positive perceptions was an increase in s tudents’ higher order thinking, students’ understanding of criteria for q uality work, and teachers conversations with one another about instr uctional issues. Increased teacher preparation time and decreased en joyment of teaching were among the negative perceptions. Teachers also experienced difficulty adopting performance assessment techniqu es. When teachers believed they received effective preparation and ad equate resources for working with the Profile, they were much more likel y to report beneficial effects in terms of teaching and learning. The majo rity of teachers, however, rated their preparation and resources as fair" or "poor." Results are discussed in terms of school and instru ctional change. At the beginning of the year 2000, 49 of 50 states had adopted standards that describe what students should "know and be able to do." Many of the standards documents were created to set high academic expectations for all s tudents, and to add "rigor" to purportedly watered-down curricula. Most states hav e developed or are developing assessments to determine whether students "meet the standards"—hence the term "standards-based assessments." Thirty-seven of the states' assessments reflect yet another recent development in education—a trend toward the use of nontraditional assessments ( Education Week, 2000). The nontraditional assessments range from c onstructed response items (short answer) to demonstrations of performance, such as conducting a science experiment or giving a persuasive speech. I n contrast to the use of multiple-choice tests, the use of performance asses sments is thought to challenge students in ways that allow for individual strength s and diversity in thinking (Eisner, 1999; Wiggins, 1998).We are thus witnessing two major changes in educati on: standards-based assessment and performance-based assessment—both of which are bein g conducted in many states for high stakes. Evaluation and research studies on the implementation and effects of state standards-based assessments are just now beginning to accumulate. Some of the state standards documents are perceived by teachers and t he public as confusing and overly burdensome (McDonnell & Choisser, 1997; Schomaker & Marzano, 1999). Many reports suggest that teachers are ill prepared to u se nontraditional assessments (Bateson, 1994; Black & Wiliam, 1998; Firestone, Roseblum, & Bader, 1992; Plake & Impara, 1997). When teachers are comfortable with nontraditional assessments, studi es find that the format requires an enormous amount of teacher t ime in addition to the costs of scoring (Koretz, Stecher, Klein, & McCaffrey, 1994) Some states, including Arizona, California, Kentucky, and most recently Maryland, h ave pulled back from the idea of using high stakes performance-based assessments bec ause of concerns about time, cost,


3 of 37and questionable psychometric properties. A few stu dies report teachers perceive positive changes in their instruction when they use performance assessments, but the same teachers question whether the costs make the c hange worthwhile (Herman, 1997; Koretz et al., 1994; Madaus & Kellaghan, 1993).Underlying the development of performance assessmen ts is a constructivist philosophy toward teaching and learning. Although there are va rious interpretations of constructivism among scholars, most agree that it i mplies that students "construct" meaning by engaging in activities that require them to manipulate and synthesize data, rather than reproduce information. Teachers in stat es adopting constructivist-oriented standards often have difficulty switching to authen tic or performance-based assessment of students' demonstration of learning. Missouri te achers experienced considerable difficulty implementing performance assessments, mo stly due to lack of training (Jackson, 2000). An analysis of high school teacher s in three suburban Illinois schools indicated that only a small number of these teacher s were actually using authentic assessments (Meisenheimer, 1996). Those teachers wh o did employ performance assessments were more likely to be receiving in-ser vice training, were actively involved in professional organizations and in their schools, and had a strong philosophical understanding of the purpose and value of authentic assessment. It was also the case that these teachers were working in schools that support ed their efforts by encouraging their experimentation and providing them with in-service training. In this report, we describe the state assessment sy stem developed in Minnesota, a state that has long had a reputation for being innovative and progressive in the area of education. We briefly relate significant events in the "story" of the Minnesota standards, and then present the quantitative results of a surv ey of English and social studies teachers on their perceptions of the impact of the standards. We also identify themes and issues that emerge from the qualitative survey data as well as interviews conducted with selected teachers. Together, survey and interview d ata provide insights into the promise and challenge of standards-based reform, particular ly as it relates to constructivist-oriented, performance-based assessme nt.The Development of Minnesota's Graduation Requireme ntsThe current national focus on standards-based asses sment is often traced back to the publication of A Nation at Risk in 1983, a report from then Secretary of Education Terrell Bell (National Commission on Excellence in Education, 1983). The report characterized the public education system as a "ris ing tide of mediocrity" that no longer prepares young people for adult work and responsibi lities. According to the report, watered-down content, low expectations for students and poorly prepared teachers had contributed to a weak and deteriorating educational system. A Nation at Risk prompted a wave of educational reports from national and state commissions, "Blue Ribbon" panels, and community leaders, each designed to give us a p icture of the "status of education," either in a particular area (e.g., teacher educatio n programs, middle schools), for a specific group (e.g., low-income students, special needs students), or for a certain locale (e.g., state, region).Minnesota business and community leaders, concerned that too many high school graduates did not have basic math and literacy skil ls, joined the call for educational reforms that would better prepare young people for the workforce. The notion that "seat


4 of 37time" should not qualify students for a high school diploma shifted attention toward "what students know and can do" as the criteria for graduation. In 1987, the Minnesota legislature directed the State Board of Education t o identify "core learner outcomes" for each curriculum area, i.e., what should students kn ow and be able to do in mathematics? in social studies? in English? The first set of Ess ential Learner Outcomes was adopted by the State Board of Education in 1988.At the national level in 1989, President George H. Bush convened an education summit with the nation's governors in Virginia. The group agreed on six education goals to be achieved by the year 2000; these goals were collect ively referred to as "America 2000." President Bill Clinton later added two goals, and r enamed the list "Goals 2000." The first goal, and the one most often cited, states th at "All children will start school ready to learn." It is the third goal, however, that bears d irectly on the standards-based assessment movement: American students will leave grades four, eight, an d twelve having demonstrated competency in challenging subject matt er including English, mathematics, science, history and geography. ( America 2000, 1991, p. 9) This particular goal is consistent with the traject ory Minnesota followed in terms of educational reform.In 1990 the Minnesota State Board of Education decl ared its intention to develop a "results-oriented graduation requirement" based on student achievement as opposed to the current credit/course completion requirement. A Graduation Standards Executive Committee, composed of business, education and citi zen groups, was appointed to review the process of moving toward this "results-o riented" system. It was about this time that a group of education scholars conducted a n in-depth study of the assessment reforms underway in six states, among them Minnesot a. Their observations were published in the Teachers College Record in 1992 (Firestone et al., 1992). The authors suggested that Minnesota's plans for reform (along with Arizona's plans, the ASAP test) were notable because they held the potential to inc rease students' higher-level thinking. The Minnesota Department of Children, Families and Learning (CFL) sought to develop two sets of standards, one focusing on basic skills in math, reading and writing, and another designed to set high, rigorous expectations for students. The former would be assessed through the Minnesota Basic Skills Test, a nd the latter through performance-based assessments called the Minnesota High Standards (formerly called, and most commonly still referred to as the Profile of Learning ). Both the basic and high standards are purportedly guided by five Comprehens ive Goals—that students who graduate from the Minnesota public schools be: Purposeful Thinkers; Effective Communicators; Self-Directed Learners; Productive Group Participants; and Responsible Citizens. The Basic Skills Test. In order to graduate, all public school students i n Minnesota, beginning with the high school graduating class of 2000, were required to pass the Basic Skills Tests in reading and math. These tests are w ritten in the traditional


5 of 37 multiple-choice format. The Basic Skills tests are initially given to students in the eighth grade, and students who do not pass the test can ta ke it annually through the twelfth grade. The Basic Skills Test in writing composition is given in the tenth grade, and similar to the reading and math tests, students who fail the writing test can re-take it through the twelfth grade. The class of 2001 was re quired to pass the writing test (in addition to the reading and math tests) as a condit ion for graduation. All of the basic skills tests are "high stakes tests"—students who d o not pass these tests are not to receive a high school diploma.The basic skills tests generated little controversy in Minnesota until the summer of 2000, when it was discovered that a data entry error had incorrectly scored one form of the math basic skills test. Approximately 8,000 student s were told they had failed the test, when in fact they had passed the test. Of these stu dents, approximately 300 were seniors who were not permitted to graduate with their class in the spring (Welsh, 2001). Special legislative sessions were convened during t he summer to determine how such an error could have occurred. The situation prompted m any Minnesotans to question the wisdom of using the score from one test to determin e whether a student should graduate. At present, however, the major change in the system has been the implementation of a range of safeguards to lessen the likelihood that s uch an error will occur again. The Profile of Learning. The Profile of Learning has generated the most controversy in the state of Minnesota. Not surprisingly, it also r epresents a significant deviation from traditional schooling and testing. Whereas the Basi c Skills Tests set a minimum level of knowledge for students to attain, the Profile required students to demonstrate a higher level of understanding through performance-based as sessments. Similarly, while the Basic Skills Tests focuses on traditional subject a reas (reading, writing and math), the Profile was originally based on interdisciplinary "learnin g areas" that characterize a "well-rounded" education. The 110 Essential Learner Outcomes identified by CFL in the early 1990s were reworked to form a list of 25, the n 15, and finally, 10 areas of learning. Table 1 shows the changes in the learning areas bet ween 1993 and 2002. The learning areas that were most often used between 1993 and 20 00 reflected an effort to move toward major interdisciplinary concepts (e.g., peop le and cultures, decision making) and toward more active, practical learning (e.g., mathe matical applications ). The current learning areas include the names of more traditiona l subject areas, such as social studies, physical education and economics. Table 1 Minnesota's Learning Areas: 1993 – 2002 Learning Areas 1993-2000Learning Areas 2001-2002Read, View and ListenRead, Listen and ViewWrite and SpeakWrite and SpeakLiterature and the ArtsArts and LiteratureMathematical ApplicationsMathematical Concepts and Applications InquiryInquiry and ResearchScientific ApplicationsScientific Concepts and Appl ications


6 of 37 People and CulturesSocial StudiesDecision MakingPhysical Education and Lifetime Fitn ess Resource ManagementEconomics and BusinessWorld Languages (optional)World Languages (optional )Note: There have been many changes in the Learning Areas in the past decade; however, these were the dominant areas for the time periods shown.Each learning area encompasses two or more content standards. For example, in 2000, a middle grades content standard associated with the "Read, View and Listen" learning area was as follows: Literature and Arts Analysis and Interpretation.A student shall demonstrate the ability to interpre t and evaluate complex works of music, dance, theater, visual arts, litera ture, or media arts by doing the following: describing the elements and structure of the art fo rm; the artistic intent; and the historical, cultural, and social ba ckground of the selected art works; A. applying specific critical criteria to interpret an d analyze the selected art works; B. describing how particular effects are produced by t he artist's use of the elements of the art form; and C. communicating an informed interpretation using the vocabulary of the art form. D. A high school content standard often associated wit h the social studies under the learning area "Inquiry" was as follows: Issue Analysis. A student shall research an issue and evaluate prop osed positions or solutions by: gathering information on past or contemporary issue s; A. identifying relevant questions or a range of points of view; B. summarizing relevant background information; C. examining information from each source for bias and intended audience; D. identifying areas of conflict, compromise, or agree ment among various groups concerning the issue; and E. evaluating multiple positions and proposed solution s for the issue, including analyzing conclusions, arguments, and sup porting evidence; identifying motives of groups or individuals; analy zing feasibility and practicality; identifying impact on policies; compa ring alternative solutions; and projecting consequences. F. In order to graduate, students were to complete 24 standards in grades 9 – 12. Students would receive credit for attempting a standard, eve n if their work was unsatisfactory.


7 of 37Scores were to be recorded on student transcripts. Students in grades 1-8 were to complete "preparatory standards," the "building blo cks" for the high school standards. In essence, the Profile created a "spiral performance assessment system" a round 10 major themes; the performances became increasingly comple x within a given theme or "area of learning" as students progressed through school (Mi nnesota Department of Children, Families, and Learning, 1998).To foster implementation of the Profile CFL relied primarily on a "train-the-trainer" model. Training workshops on the Profile were organized throughout the state for selected teachers and administrators. These represe ntatives then returned to their own districts to provide teachers with training at the local level. Districts also designated certain curriculum coordinators as responsible for overseeing the Profile implementation. Teachers met in local districts to discuss ways of aligning their own curriculums to the standards, meetings that sometim es involved extensive rethinking of their teaching.One problem with relying primarily on a "train-thetrainer" model was that, other than basic information on the CFL Website and the packag es, there were few alternative sources of information—printed materials, videos, o r curriculum frameworks for teachers, administrators, and parents. (One rationa le for the lack of print materials was that because the Profile was continually changing, CFL was reluctant to pri nt materials that would become outdated or outmoded. Materials a nd handouts from CFL rarely indicated dates or authors. It was therefore diffic ult to ascertain whether particular policies had been superceded by other policies, add ing to teacher confusion over policy). This "train-the-trainer" model effectively served t hose teachers who were willing to attend workshops and actively participate in the tr aining process, especially in districts that were providing high levels of support. However a sizable number of teachers who were less enthusiastic about the Profile often received only minimal training from individuals who, through no fault of their own, wer e not always familiar with the most recent changes in the Profile At workshops it was not unusual to have teachers sharing conflicting information they had received from peop le who should have been "in the know." As a result, these reluctant teachers, as we ll as parents and the public, often had little understanding of the Profile In workshops across the state, teachers were told t hat students should demonstrate they had "met the standard" through high-quality "perfor mance packages." A "performance package" is defined as a set of interrelated perfor mance tasks that give students the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of a standard. T he "performance packages" were to be "embedded" into the curriculum.A CFL handout entitled "The A, B, C's of Performanc e Tasks," stipulated that the performance tasks in the packages should be a uthentic, un b iased, and c onstructivist. CFL developed "performance packages" to serve as mo dels for teachers, and eventually, most of the standards were accompanied by "performa nce packages." In the "performance package" designed to meet the "Issues Analysis" standard previously cited, for example, students were required to research an issue of importance to them, identify key stakeholders and interest groups related to the issue, prepare a position paper stating their own beliefs about the issue, develop a consen sus position among a small group of peers, and present their findings to a community gr oup involved in the decision-making processes that affect the issue.


8 of 37Many aspects of the "performance packages" were con sistent with the characteristics of "effective instruction," as well as major principle s of learning and motivation. For example, at various points in most of the "performa nce packages" were checklists of tasks the students were to complete. The checklists in addition to specifying the criteria by which the work would eventually be evaluated, re quired students to self-assess, and teachers to monitor students' progress. The checkli sts assured that students would receive feedback throughout their work.The students were often required to be active parti cipants in "constructing their own meaning" by collecting or manipulating data, posing hypotheses and making generalizations. Successful completion of a "perfor mance package" frequently required students to work in cooperative groups, or to inter act with community members outside the classroom. Theodore Sizer might call many of th e students' work products "exhibitions" (Sizer, 1997); the Teaching for Understanding group at Harvard University might call the students' work "performan ces of understanding" (Wiske, 1998); and Fred Newmann and his colleagues of the f ormer Center on Organization and Restructuring of Schools (CORS) at the University o f Wisconsin might label the students' work examples of "authentic student perfo rmance" (Newmann, Secada, & Wehlage, 1995). Although these scholars would undou btedly make changes in the "performance packages," they would probably be supp ortive of the philosophy upon which the packages were based.When students completed a "performance package," th eir work associated with meeting a particular standard was evaluated by their teache r on criteria specified by a state rubric, and awarded a holistic score of 4 (exemplary), 3 (p roficient), 2 (novice) or 1 (beginning). Students could meet five of the six criteria listed under "4", but if the sixth criteria merited a "2", students would be awarded a "2." In other words, all parts of the listed criteria needed to be met for a specific score to b e given. Although many teachers found some merit in specific aspects of the "performance packages," the packages became a focal point for a barrage of criticism from teachers, parents, and community members. Schomaker and Marza no (1999) note that "most of the state assessment-based standards documents have contributed to the problem they were designed to address. Documents are way too lon g, and full of educational jargon." Unfortunately, the Profile, and more specifically its accompanying performance packages, are subject to their critique. The packag es used terminology unfamiliar even to veteran teachers (e.g., "content standard," "elemen t," "task management skills"). They required teachers to use skills with which many wer e unfamiliar, such as using checklists or scoring rubrics. Some of the performance package s required content knowledge that teachers simply had not acquired. The sheer length of the packages (one was 65 pages!) was overwhelming to students and teachers alike. Ma ny teachers complained that the performance packages were becoming the de facto curriculum. Moreover, the quality of the performance packages developed by the state was uneven. Although the CFL developed the performance packages to serve as models, many districts either assumed the packages were state-ma ndated, or because the development of a package was so time intensive, mandated the us e of the state packages within their district. And while CFL insisted that districts cou ld develop their own performance packages, the Department also wanted some kind of quality control" to assure that all students were expected to demonstrate the same leve l of academic rigor. Initially, CFL


9 of 37wanted to monitor the quality of the performance pa ckages. Then, because of vehement cries for local control, individual school district s gained the authority to give their "stamp of approval" to performance packages develop ed within the district. Most recently, CFL declared that separate performance assessments, instead of performance packages, can be used to meet parts of a standard. The signi ficance of this is that while the completion of a performance package was often b urdensome and overwhelming for a one-quarter civics class, for example, completion o f short performance assessments could more easily be interwoven into an existing co urse. Aside from their concerns about the performance pac kages, teachers grew frustrated with the constant changes in the standards requirem ents. Similarly, it was not unusual to get contradictory information from CFL representati ves. CFL wanted to be attentive to teachers' feedback about the Profile, but in doing so, this often meant making changes that further frustrated teachers.In 1993, the Minnesota State Legislature envisioned that both the Basic Skills Tests and the Profile of Learning would be required of students entering ninth grade during the 1996-97 school year. The Basic Skills Tests in read ing and mathematics were in place for ninth graders in 1996-97 (the class scheduled t o graduate in 2000); the Basic Skills Writing Test was deferred until the following year. Beginning with the ninth grade class of 1998, students were to have completed the Profile in order to graduate. The Profile of Learning was the subject of intense debate in the 1998, 199 9 and 2000 legislative sessions. In 1998, the legislature crea ted a Standards Advisory Panel, composed of 11 leaders from business and education, to make recommendations to the 1999 legislature on the implementation of the Profile of Learning Among their recommendations, the Advisory Panel suggested that the number of "learning areas" be reduced from 10 to 5; that the reference to state p erformance packages in the Graduation Rule be eliminated, and that the language used in t he Graduation Rule be "clear and understandable to teachers, parents and students."During the 1999 legislative session, the House vote d to eliminate the Profile in favor of more traditional coursework. The Senate voted to re tain the Profile, but with some of the modifications suggested by the Standards Advisory P anel. The session ended without any action taken on the Profile. House conferees refused to consider modifications to the Profile; had the Legislature adopted the modifications, it was thought that the widespread opposition to the Profile would have decreased substantially. The goal of th e staunch opponents to the Profile was to eliminate it, not to modify it. In early 2000, a poll released by the state teacher s' union, Education Minnesota, indicated that 39% of the 608 teachers surveyed wan ted to eliminate the Profile altogether; another 51% wanted significant changes; and only 9% of the teachers believed the Profile should remain in its current f orm (Draper, 2000). Education Minnesota co-presidents called for a major overhaul of the Profile. At about the same time, Education Week published a report entitled Quality Counts in which they graded states on their assessment programs. States receive d a grade based on the types of assessments used, and the number of subject areas a ssessed. Minnesota, ranked in the bottom 10 states, was given a grade of C( Education Week, 2000). In the 2000 legislative session, the Profile narrowly escaped elimination. The House of Representatives voted 97 – 34 to delay indefinitely the implementation of the Profile as


10 of 37a graduation requirement. Conservatives proposed th e North Star Standard, a plan that focuses on the "basics" in core subject area course s, as an alternative to the Profile The North Star Standard would focus on content over pro cess, and would use the traditional A-F grading system as opposed to the 4-3-2-1 scores mandated by the Profile. The Senate was generally more supportive of the Profile, and in a conference committee convened in May 2000, a compromise was reached wher eby local school boards would be allowed to choose between the Profile and the North Star Standard, the back-to-basics alternative inspired by the House. Profile supporters believed that the only bill that would pass both the House and the Se nate needed to include the Profile and the North Star Standard. However, Profile supporters, together with the CFL Commissioner, insisted that students in both Profile and North Star Standard districts take the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments, stand ardized tests for school accountability based on Profile -related goals. At the last minute, the North Star Standards supporters refused to sign the compromise bill, ostensibly because it required assessments that did not match the goals of their b ack-to-basics standards. The Senate passed a Profile -only" bill, 82 – 44 at 3:20 a.m. on May 18th. An h our and one-half later, members of the House cast the last vote of t he longest legislative session in Minnesota history, and passed the Profile -only" bill 99-27. The bill approved by the House and Senate gave dist ricts much more control over the way in which the Profile was (or was not) to be implemented. Each district' s teachers, administrators and school board members were to vot e on how many, if any, standards from the Profile students would need to complete. The bill encourag es districts to work toward implementation of all 24 standards, but no t imeline is mentioned. Slightly over half (53%) of the state's 332 districts voted to re quire all 24 standards. A few districts voted not to require their students to complete any standards. Local districts could decide whether to use the familiar letter grades as oppose d to the 4-3-2-1 system. Significantly, the statute also stated that "districts...may use o ne or more assessment methods to measure students' performance on one or more conten t standards. The commissioner [of the Department of Children, Families and Learning] shall not mandate in rule or otherwise the assessment methods that local sites m ust use to meet the requirements under this section."Opponents of the Profile vowed to renew the fight to eliminate the Profile in the 2001 legislative session. Lawmakers, however, seemed wea ry of the Profile debate in 2001. School funding formulas and early childhood educati on were the focus of attention in terms of educational issues. A state budget crisis dominates the legislative agenda in 2002. Until April 19, 2002, there had been little d iscussion of the Profile. But on that date, the House Majority Leader introduced an amend ment to repeal the Profile. The amendment won bi-partisan support, and passed 109 – 22 (Bakst, 2002). The vote in the Senate was tied, 33 – 33. Although Governor Jesse V entura had supported the Profile, and thus would most likely veto a proposal to elimi nate it, the "near-death" experience of the Profile jarred many of its supporters (Lonetree, 2002). In the annual Quality Counts report published in Education Week in early 2002 Minnesota's "grade" for "Standards and Accountability" dropped to a D( Education Week, 2002). Tim Pawlenty, a Republican, was elected to serve as Minnesota's g overnor in the November 2002 election; a major part of his campaign platform was a promise to eliminate the Profile. Thus, at the time of this writing, the future of th e Profile is tenuous at best. Over the past five years, several studies have exam ined the implementation of the


11 of 37 Table 2 Characteristics of Survey Respondents and their Schools (N = 658) GenderFemale50%Male50%Highest DegreeBachelor of Arts37%Masters59%Specialist Certificate3%Other1%School SettingRural45% Profile. A 1998 survey administered to a sample of 1600 tea chers from 100 Minnesota public schools asked teachers to assess their knowl edge and understanding of the Profile. Over 80% of the teachers indicated they knew enoug h about the Profile to integrate the standards into their teaching (Human Capital Research Corporation, 1998). A later study based on focus groups with teachers a cross the state examined the degree to which the standards are being implemented in the schools (Minnesota Department of Children, Families & Learning, 2000). Almost two-th irds of the 2500 teachers who participated in the focus groups believed the stand ards had been integrated into their curriculum, but only half felt the standards were aligned" with instruction, assessment and curriculum. One of the more significant themes of the focus groups was that teachers believed they were talking with one anothe r more often about curricular issues. Notably absent have been studies of how the Profile is affecting school and classroom practice. In the present study, we begin to shift t he focus of research and evaluation away from teacher knowledge and implementation issues, a nd toward the impact of the Profile on teaching and learning in the classroom. We begin by asking teachers their perceptions of the Profile's impact on teaching and learning.MethodsThe respondents. All 292 English/language arts teachers who are mem bers of the Minnesota Council of Teachers of English (MCTE) wer e surveyed; 171 or 59% returned completed questionnaires. Similarly, the 945 second ary social studies teachers who are members of the Minnesota Council for the Social Stu dies (MCSS) were surveyed; 487 or 52% of the teachers completed the questionnaire. Table 2 provides demographic information about the teachers. The typical respond ent was a mid-career European-American with a Masters degree who taught outside the inner city. Follow-up interviews were conducted with 51 English teachers and 89 social studies teachers. The questionnaire. A questionnaire was designed to assess secondary English and social studies teachers' perceptions of theways in with the Profile may be affecting teaching and learning in their classrooms.Eight items focus on how the Profile may have impacted student learning (e.g.,students' higher level thinking, students'interest in social studies) and 10 items focuson how the Profile may have affected teaching (e.g., teachers' preparation time,teachers' enjoyment of teaching). For eachitem, teachers were asked to respond on a7-point scale (decreased a lot, decreasedmoderately, decreased slightly, no impact, increased slightly, increased moderately,increased a lot). Items were primarily chosenbecause they represent (1) goals associated with the study of English and social studies(e.g., students' interest in English/socialstudies); (2) characteristics of "authentic


12 of 37 Suburban44%Urban11%Length of Class Periods30-55 minutes71%Over 55 minutes29%Years of Teaching ExperienceRange:0-39 yearsMean:17 yearsSize of Social Studies DepartmentRange:1-25 teachersMean:8 teachers pedagogy"(Note 1) (e.g., students'interactions with one another about socialstudies content); (3) characteristics of professional community (Note 2) (e.g.,teachers' conversations with colleagues in their school about English/social studiesinstruction and assessment); and (4) statedgoals of CFL (e.g., the degree to which students are prepared for "life aftergraduation"). These categories are notmutually exclusive. For example, increasingstudents' higher level thinking is not only a goal of the English/social studies and CFL,but is also a characteristic of authenticpedagogy. Finally, standard demographic information was collected (e.g., years ofteaching experience, school setting, mostadvanced degree), and teachers were asked about the quality of their preparation for working with the Profile (e.g., teacher/inservice workshops). The first draft of the questionnaire was reviewed b y two expert social studies teachers, both of whom have earned National Board Certificati on, one curriculum coordinator for an urban district, a Minnesota state curriculum coo rdinator, and an English education professor with expertise in the state standards mov ement. The questionnaire was revised several times based on reviewers' comments and sugg estions. The interviews. Interviews were conducted with a selected number o f teachers completing the questionnaire. Teachers were asked t o elaborate on their written comments on the questionnaire (regarding positive a nd negative aspects of the Profile) and to describe their work with standards packages/ assignments. In some cases, we deviated from the interview schedule to ask followup questions. Transcripts of interviews were analyzed in terms of references to various topics. Data collection procedures. Questionnaires were mailed the second week in Septe mber 2000 to all MCTE and MCSS secondary teachers. A pos tcard reminding teachers to return the questionnaire was mailed one week later, and two weeks after the postcard mailing, a second copy of the questionnaire was mai led to teachers who had not yet responded to the survey. On the questionnaire, teac hers indicated whether they would be willing to be interviewed about their responses. Ph one or e-mail interviews were conducted in February and March of 2001 with those teachers who indicated a willingness to be interviewed.Data analysis. For the questionnaire items, a simple frequency of responses was calculated. NVIVO, a qualitative data analysis soft ware package, was used to code the interview data. All three researchers initially rea d 25% of the transcripts to create a set of closed codes to use in the analysis of the intervie w data. Through an iterative process, agreement was reached on coding categories. Each in vestigator then coded one-third of the data, after which the coded data were then revi ewed for emergent themes and frequency of responses in coding categories.


13 of 37 ResultsIn this section, we report the results of the quant itative analysis, and offer excerpts from the interview data to explain some of the quantitat ive findings. Thus, we weave together questionnaire and interview data to present a pictu re of how teachers perceive the Profile is impacting teaching and learning in their classro oms. The interview data also suggested teacher observations and concerns not directly rela ted to the questionnaire items. In an effort to give voice to these teachers, the themes and patterns in these data are also described.Impact on student learning. Table 3 shows teachers' perceptions of the impact of the Profile on students' learning. The percentage of teachers who believe the Profile has had a positive impact on student learning ranges from 2 2% (increased student interest in English/social studies) to 51% (increased students' higher level thinking). In many, though not a majority of classrooms, teachers perce ive the Profile to be having a positive impact on student learning. Table 3 Respondents' Perceptions of the Impact of the Profile of Learning on Student Learning (N = 658) Decreased (%) No Impact (%) Increased (%) Students' higher level thinking6%43%51%Students' interest in English/social studies 285022 Students' interaction with one another95437Students' understanding of grading criteria* 223345 Teacher communication with students about work quality 74647 Students' interaction with community outside school 46531 Quality of students' work on assignment115534Students' preparation for "life" after school 96229*English teachers were significantly more likely to perceive increases in students' understanding of grading criteria than were social studies teachers.In the interviews, teachers noted that constructivi st instruction requires students to take responsibility for their own learning, apply their own knowledge, and work together collaboratively. They also noted the value of havin g students demonstrate proficiency through "hands-on" learning associated with higher levels of student involvement in the classroom. One teacher cited a specific example fro m a class simulation of the Treaty of


14 of 37 Versailles she created to meet a content standard: I can remember one young man two years ago who got into being part of the Turkish delegation at the Treaty of Versailles, and came up with original pieces of documentation that he just loved. And it turned him onto history. That's the payback. When you see the light bulb tur n on and history becomes more than a textbook or a dry set of facts. For teachers such as this one, the Profile offered an opportunity to set high expectations for students and to assess their learning in a cons tructivist manner. Some teachers noted that the Profile's focus on authentic, "hands-on" assessment was already consistent with their own previous construc tivist instruction. One teacher noted that the Profile is "fine because I've done a lot of hands-on activ ities in my classroom. And I believe in that—show me what you learned, not just tell me on a sheet of paper." Teachers who already used constructivist strategies in their classrooms agreed with the theory behind the Profile yet also saw it as redundant for their instructio nal practices. Impact on teaching. Table 4 documents teachers' perceptions of the imp act of the Profile on aspects of their teaching. Similar to teachers' perceptions of the impact of the Profile on student learning, many teachers perceive the Profile to be having a positive impact on various aspects of their teaching. Slightly more th an one-third believe the Profile has helped to increase the coordination of content acro ss grade levels, the range of teachers' instructional methods and materials (among them com puter technology), and the use of nontraditional assessments. Teachers reported that rather than focus on their own instruction, they had to focus on student learning because the Profile required them to explain their learning expectations to students and parents, clarify criteria for evaluation, share these criteria with colleagues, and display s tudent work. Most educational reformers would view these developments as potentia lly positive. Table 4 Teachers' Perceptions of the Impact of the Profile of Learning on Teaching (N = 658) ItemDecreased (%) No Impact (%) Increased (%) Teachers' preparation time for classes7%11%82%Use of a wider range of teaching materials94447Use of nontraditional assessments105535Conversations with school colleagues about social studies teaching and assessment 33166 Interaction with colleagues outside school35641Interest in subject area176716Enjoyment of teaching*533512Coordination across grade levels105139


15 of 37 Use of computer technology56134Use of different teaching approaches65836*Social studies teachers were significantly more li kely to indicate a decrease in their enjoyment of teaching than were English teachers.Perhaps most striking is the teachers' report that the Profile prompted more discussion about English/social studies instruction and assess ment with their colleagues. As one teacher noted, teachers were more likely to discuss issues of curriculum development given the mandate of standards implementation: We have talked more, had more opportunities to conn ect....the Profile is a good "equalizer" for staff in various curricular ar eas—more understanding/integrating. Even staff who have disl iked/discounted standards/profiles have a greater sense of purpose as professionals. In reflecting on both local and state-wide training the opportunity to have positive professional discussions with colleagues was seen a s a positive outcome. The school culture has traditionally isolated most teachers from one another in terms of substantive conversations about their work. Althoug h many of their conversations might have been based on complaints about the Profile, it is quite likely that the discussions increased teachers' sense of collegiality, as well as their understanding of one another's views on high quality instruction and assessment.Although the Profile appears to have had a positive impact in many clas srooms, teachers perceive at least two very strong negative aspects to the Profile: More than four-fifths of the teachers believe the Profile has increased their preparation time, and over one -half report that working with the Profile has decreased their enjoyment of teaching. By far the most frequently mentioned issue for teac hers in regards to implementation in our interviews was the "huge amount of time investe d." More time was spent in the preparation of the packages, pre-teaching in class, completing the performance assessments in class, grading the performance asses sments, and record-keeping and documentation.In the interviews, teachers reported that conscient ious teachers devoted considerable time to learning how to the implement the standards : The pressure to prove to someone that they were doi ng a good job put unnecessary pressure on those teachers, took time a way from other areas to go to training sessions and create whatever for the ir districts...just additional time away from other classroom activities or work d ays when they were planning or preparing for the next quarter. In many cases not only did teachers see the additio nal time as an issue, but also felt that the loss of time may have been equally well spent o n other areas of curriculum, instruction, and assessment.Rather than relying solely on textbooks, teachers o ften had to devise their own curriculum materials, frequently without adequate f inancial support for such materials.


16 of 37One teacher described the preparation involved: I've done the time capsule, where they, students ar e supposed to select 10 items or 10 events or people that really influenced the United States from 1900 to 2000. And then they're supposed to come up with ideas on [that item.] They write a description of it, and then the y write another paragraph justifying it. And getting all the materials ready, getting the library time to do that, when they're so limited. I mean, the state asked us to do this, but they don't give us any money to have bigger IMCs [m edia centers] where we could all get in, or bigger computer labs, or money to photocopy these things. Gathering curriculum materials, conducting research and organizing the materials and technology students needed to be successful all con tributed to time spent by teachers on Profile implementation. Teachers indicated that adopting a performance asse ssment approach also represented a major increase in the amount of time devoted to eva luation and grading. In having to spend more time in monitoring and evaluating indivi dual student work in class, teachers had less opportunity for large group discussion or lecture. Grading time in the evenings and on the weekends also increased, as they worked to consistently grade large numbers of performance assessments. One social studies teac her reported, "Each ["Create a Nation"] project takes between 45 and 90 minutes to fully evaluate." In devising performance assessment tasks, they needed to develo p self-evaluation checklists for students to complete, as well as provide their own evaluation on the same checklists. As one teacher noted, "I can't write out a checklist f or every learning task for every student and still maintain the quality of instruction." Man y teachers used the phrase "too much time" in discussing the time they devoted to evalua tion and grading, noting in particular that they felt it decreased the time they could spe nd with students. The teachers were most critical of what they percei ved to be excessive record-keeping associated with performance-based evaluation and CF L reporting requirements. One teacher described this as involving completing "oth er checklists that have to be filled out and there are additional numbers that have to be re corded...the numbers, it's the incredible numbers, it's a hassle in terms of recor ding the numbers." Another explained: Either way it equals extra hours of work at the end of the school year when we are swamped with work anyway. This extra time th e teachers need to put in does not improve the students' education in any way. I see it as busywork, paper work, unnecessary bureaucratic requirements. In order to keep track of students' completion of v arious standards necessary for graduation, teachers were required to monitor wheth er each student was completing each standard and registering for courses that assured c ompletion of all standards. One teacher described the process: We now take what was formerly a parent teacher conf erence day and have turned it into a registration day for next year's c lasses. We hope that with the parent, teacher, and student present, we won't acci dentally let a kid go through grade 12 and find out that he/she is missin g a graduation package that will prevent graduation. We teachers have to l earn about registration


17 of 37and prepare materials for the conference as well as call parents and make appointments for their conferences. Not only does record-keeping take more time, but te achers were asked to take on additional duties for record-keeping that they had not previously been responsible for. The increased teacher time required of the Profile seems directly related to the finding that 53% of the teachers reported a loss in enjoyme nt of teaching. Teachers who had reported this were asked to explain why during the interview process. For most teachers, a primary reason for decreased enjoyment of teachin g was the dramatic increase in time spent on administering and assessing the Profile efforts they did not necessarily feel benefited students or themselves.Teachers who reported a "loss of enjoyment in teach ing" on the questionnaire also often explained that the loss of favorite content or proj ects during Profile implementation was partly to blame. One teacher said, "I saw myself cu tting activities that students enjoy to be replaced by CFL activities that neither I nor my students enjoy." Another commented: I've had units that I really love teaching and real ly enjoy and I've had to throw those out because they didn't meet the grad s tandard in my class. As far as I can see the grad standard drives curriculu m...The important thing in the course is to cover the grad standard and the ot her stuff is secondary. In these cases, the loss of curriculum or change in curricular focus was perceived negatively by teachers.Many teachers cited specific examples of lost conte nt; entire chapters or units that had been cut in order to have enough class time for stu dents to complete performance packages. Time spent in class on performance packag es varied in the interview data from one to six weeks, with content being cut in or der to complete the packages in all cases. One social studies teacher noted: We have had to cut out units on the executive branc h and judicial branch so that we could fit in the packages. The executive an d judicial branch are what these kids should be learning, how to make a d ifference in their communities through the three branches of governmen t rather than a weak attempt to try to change something that they feel c ontent with in the first place. In cases such as this, teachers were not only disma yed over the loss of content but also concerned about the usefulness of the time spent in stead on performance packages. The impact of teacher preparation and resources. Two factors appear to have a strong influence on teachers' perceptions of the Profile: The perceived quality of their preparation for working with the Profile, and the perceived quality of the resources (human and material) available to assist them. (Not e 3) Table 5 shows how teachers rated their preparation and resources. Tables 6 thr ough 9 suggest a strong pattern: When teachers describe their preparation as "excellent" or "good," or when they report that the resources available to them were "excellent" or "go od", they are more likely to see the Profile as having a positive impact on student learning an d teacher instruction. However, the percentage of teachers reporting high quality ( "excellent" or "good") preparation and


18 of 37 resources is relatively low, 30% and 25% respective ly. Table 5 Teachers' Perceptions of their Preparation and Reso urces for Working with the Profile (N = 658) RatingPreparation for Working with the Profile (%) Resources (Human & Material) for Working with Profile (%) Excellent 8% 5% Good 2220 Fair 3537 Poor 3237 Table 6 Respondents' Perceptions of the Impact of the Profile of Learning on Student Learning by Quality of Teacher Preparation Teachers noting increases in...Preparation Fair/Poor (%)(Note 4)PreparationExcellent/Good (%)(Note 5)Students' higher level thinking 47%(Note 6)64%(Note 7)Students' interest in English/social studies 1931 Students' interaction with one another 3544 Students' understanding of grading criteria 4451 Teacher communication with students about work quality 4559 Students' interaction with community outside school 2940 Quality of students' work on assignments 3144 Students' preparation for "life" after school 2641 Table 7 Respondents' Perceptions of the Impact of the Profile of Learning on Teaching by Quality of Teacher Preparation Teachers noting increases in...PreparationPreparati on


19 of 37 Fair/Poor (%) (Note 8)Excellent/Good (%)(Note 9)Teachers' preparation time for classes 80%(Note 10)87%(Note 11)Use of a wider range of teaching materials 4553 Use of nontraditional assessments 3439 Conversations with school colleagues about social studies teaching and assessment 6471 Interaction with colleagues outside school 3751 Interest in subject area 1425 Enjoyment of teaching 1018 Coordination across grade levels 3746 Use of computer technology 3241 Use of different teaching approaches 3541 Table 8 Respondents' Perceptions of the Impact of the Profile of Learning on Student Learning by Quality of Resources Available to Teachers Teachers noting increases in...Resources Fair/Poor (%) (Note 12) Resources Excellent/Good (%) (Note 13) Students' higher level thinking 45 (Note 14) 69 (Note 15) Students' interest in English/social studies 1931 Students' interaction with one another 3252 Students' understanding of grading criteria 4060 Teacher communication with students about work quality 4360 Students' interaction with community outside school 2648 Quality of students' work on assignments 2852 Students' preparation for "life" afterschool 2252 Table 9


20 of 37 Respondents' Perceptions of the Impact of the Profile of Learning on Teaching by Quality of Resources Available to Teachers ItemResources Fair/Poor (%) (Note 16) Resources Excellent/Good (%) (Note 17) Teachers' preparation time for classes 82% (Note 18) 81% (Note 19) Use of a wider range of teaching materials 4455 Use of nontraditional assessments 3342 Conversations with school colleagues about social studies teaching andassessment 6179 Interaction with colleagues outside school 3460 Interest in subject area 1228 Enjoyment of teaching 920 Coordination across grade levels 3355 Use of computer technology 3143 Use of different teaching approaches 3250 In the interviews, teachers noted that the most use ful training consisted of helping them think about the relationships between standards and their own instruction in terms of the degree to which the instruction addressed specific standards. One teacher recalled a specific incident in which a trainer challenged the teachers to compare standards and packages: You would look at a package and you would say, this is unbelievable, you cannot do this in a classroom. Like you had to give speeches to authentic audiences, a variety of speeches to authentic audie nces, in the package. And she would look right in it and say, does it say tha t in the standard? And then you'd go back and say, no. Well then does it, you k now, address the standard first and then you can adapt the package. So it was her coming in and pointing out little things like that. Other teachers believed that the success of the tra ining depended on teachers' openness and willingness to change, as opposed to the qualit y of the training. Having praised the quality of the training sessions she attended, one teacher then noted that "my education about the standards came because I sought out chanc es to learn more, not because anyone came out to the school to present workshops. Another teacher reported that because training sessions were not required or made mandatory, teachers often did not attend: "Most of the teachers I've worked with neve r attended a single standards workshop." Teachers perceived their school districts as assumi ng an important role in the Profile's implementation, particularly in terms of providing curriculum-planning workshop days


21 of 37and staff development support. Consistent with the survey findings, the level of variability in the quality of district training and support was perhaps one of the most important factors shaping the level and quality of standards implementation. One teacher praised her district for the "terrific job of in-se rvice for the Profile These included teaching strategies as well as meetings dedicated t o informing teachers where the district stood and the process we were going through." Distr icts who were initially involved as pilot demonstration sites or who consistently provi ded support and leadership were more likely to be perceived by teachers as being success ful in standards implementation. A teacher noted the important role of district lead ership: We were very actively involved because our assistan t superintendent was very involved. To be truthful, he pushed a great de al of this onto the staff and the district, but now we are ahead of the game. Whenever I would go to the spring social studies conventions..., I always came back aware of just how far ahead our district was. Teachers also noted the key support roles provided by curriculum coordinators in providing training, updating staff on changes, and providing resources. One of these district coordinators was praised for the amount of time she devoted to her work: I'm sure she was working 80 hours a week for probab ly about two years. And she had such a command of facts and such a big picture and she could kind of put it all in place, all these different pa rts and things like that. She was really kind of the glue that held it all togeth er. Teachers also valued the work of local curriculum c oordinators who often interpreted the Profile in ways that were consistent with a district's own local needs, serving as a mediating bridge between state-wide accountability and local control was also praised. One teacher stated that a curriculum coordinator wa s sensitive to teachers' needs: She said, no, all you have to do then is identify t hose assignments that meet the standard and you keep track of those for the ru bric score. Well, that's a whole different way of looking at things...her inte rpretation has been much better for teachers. Often, teachers who were positive about their local curriculum coordinators were also more positive about the process of implementing the Profile and its impact on their own students.On the other hand, some teachers were critical of s chool districts' lack of support or rigid interpretations of CFL directives. They often perce ived their district leadership as more interested in pleasing CFL than in serving their ow n needs in terms of providing quality training. As one teacher noted, "since its inceptio n, our district has been trying to please the state department, but not having enough directi on themselves. Often times when we were being trained, they couldn't answer the questi ons that were being asked." Teachers pointed to this lack of clarity and leadership as a factor that limited their ability to implement the Profile effectively. Another teacher perceived the district training wor kshops as not helping them understand ways to implement the Profile :


22 of 37Most of the staff came away not really feeling adeq uately prepped, or not feeling that they had a grasp, a full grasp of what in the world it was that these people wanted us to do. And after a number of years I still think the same thing is true. Curriculum coordinators were often described by tea chers as ineffective: "My district has one person, paid more than myself, who doesn't communicate. I've requested the goals for my grade levels and get the run-around." Another teacher commented: "Those individuals who were to direct us were confused and that led to confusion and frustration on my part." Not surprisingly, those teachers who e xpressed frustration with the information they received from their districts were also less positive about the implementation of the Profile. Teachers also suggested that the train-the-trainer model in which district representatives attended statewide training workshops and then retu rned to provide district-wide training was problematic in that these representatives were often from subject matter areas different from social studies or English. As one te acher noted: "These individuals are not social studies people...they didn't know what our c urriculum was, what we can add or what we can do to keep the rigor up." The lack of s ubject matter specificity frequently was mentioned as a significant limitation to the tr aining teachers received. Many of the interviewees were also critical of the lack of resources provided by districts required for standards implementation. One teacher noted the lack of funding for purchase of necessary materials "and even the money to go to another district, in order to get a sub, or even writing time...was just not avai lable." Another teacher noted the lack of support for computer technology associated with using the Internet for research—"you have classes of 30 students and you h ave like 7 or 8 computers to use to access the Internet...for each student to do his or her research it takes a little longer than 5 or 10 minutes. And so you're taking days." Resour ce availability, like district personnel, had a significant impact on teachers' ab ility to implement the Profile effectively.Additional teacher observations and concerns. Throughout the interviews, a number of teacher observations and concerns not directly tied to the questionnaire items emerged. Overall, interviewees were far more likely to make negative comments about the Profile than positive comments. Some teachers liked the ide a of adopting a constructivist-based curriculum approach in theory or they strongly supp orted the notion of "High Standards" for all students. However, actually implementing th e constructivist agenda of the Profile proved difficult given what teachers perceived as i nconsistent direction from CFL, lack of local support and resources, public misunderstan ding of the Profile conservative political attacks on the Profile and resistance to change. Following are some of t he consistent themes that emerged.Perceptions of the underlying philosophy of the Pro file. In our interviews, teachers noted both positive and negative aspects of the education al philosophy reflected in the Profile Very few interviewees were overwhelmingly negative toward the constructivist orientation of the Profile; most commonly teachers recognized some positives i n the idea of high standards, consistency, and constructi vist teaching, but had strong reservations about the "politicizing" of the standa rds since implementation began, or about the process of implementation. A clear dispar ity between the ideals of


23 of 37constructivist-based high standards and the realiti es faced by classroom teachers during implementation of the Profile was evident in the data. Equity in applying high student expectations. Teachers noted the value of creating a set of high, uniform, consistent expectations that all students across the state were expected to meet. One teacher noted the need to create chall enging expectations because "many teachers [are] not pushing their kids to think and be creative." Teachers also commented that by defining standards in a consistent, uniform manner, the Profile provides parents and the public with some understa nding of the school's specific expectations for students. They perceived the Profile as serving to legitimatize constructivist teacher practices for the teachers a nd for their students or parents who may be resisting such instruction. As one teacher noted "With the Profile we don't have to fight student and parents with comments such as ‘th is isn't English class' as we did in the past." Several other teachers commented that they f elt that because the performance assessments were mandated by the state, and require d for graduation, they were empowered to require higher quality work from stude nts, and students were more highly motivated in completing the tasks.At the same time, teachers acknowledged the difficu lty in achieving equity across the state given the wide disparities in resources and s upport across different districts. They challenged the fairness of attempting to achieve th e same uniform expectations throughout the state when teachers and students in poorer districts lacked the resources of richer districts. The issue of fairness was addr essed multiple times by teachers reflecting on their students' access to transportat ion outside of the school day, computers outside of school, and parental time and assistance Teachers in districts with a substantial number of English Language Learners (EL L) also suggested that while high standards were a good idea, the usefulness of addit ional high-stakes performance assessments for their students was questionable.Many teachers suggested that the Profile was difficult for lower achieving students, students who are "have nots"—those who lack Interne t access and/or supportive parents at home, and students who see the standards as one more "obstacle" before graduation. In particular, the number of required packages was seen as a concern in thes e instances. One English teacher described the difficulty of com pleting one of the literacy analysis standards for some of her students: The second paper was good for the advanced students but almost impossible for the rest of our students. The teache rs had to provide lists of novels that could be used for comparisons and pract ically outline the paper for the students. It was clearly beyond their abili ties. Teachers also suggested that if a standard was beyo nd students' abilities, there was not enough time to scaffold the assignment for students who required more learning time. Teachers expressed concern about students who were not able to complete the standards, asking where the time and money would be to help th ese students in remedial courses. One teacher drew a connection to his experience wit h OBE (Outcome Based Education) in Minnesota, commenting: This will be the same question that ultimately doom ed OBE... Great plan, great thinking behind it, all sorts of great logic behind it, but the problem,


24 of 37the sinker for OBE was there was no one to pick up the kids who didn't make it. If we're not going to have a plan for that we need to re-think what we're doing here. And that's going to cost money. A nd I seriously think that's what's going to doom the program in the end. Because we're all just fine and great on reforming education until someone says whoa what will you do about this poor kid that's struggling here? And we all know they're the ones that cost money. Concern for the impact of the Profile on their "less able" students was a persistent the me in the teacher interviews. Many teachers suggested that while the packages themselves were worthwhile, using them for state accountabilit y—their original intent—was neither realistic nor feasible.Top-down implementation. Some teachers expressed frustration at the perceiv ed lack of teacher input into how the Profile policy and framework was formulated. One teacher argued that teachers would have readily accepted th e Profile "if it had been generated from the general teaching populace instead of the s tate ‘experts'." Another teacher said, "I felt insulted with the fact that the state came down as if none of us were doing this and threw these packages at us." In multiple interviews a high degree of frustration, even anger, towards the state legislature and CFL for th e top-down mandate was evident. Some teachers saw little evidence of teacher involv ement in the development of the Profile : "The mainstream Minnesota teacher didn't have a g reat deal of input into the thing." These teachers complained that the state En glish and social studies professional organizations were not adequately consulted: "Socia l studies had no input into the decision-making of the standards." They also noted that much of the curriculum developed in the form of performance packages was v ery similar to what they were already doing. These perceptions suggest that teach ers believed that they were already teaching in a constructivist manner, and that the i mposition of the Profile was redundant and unnecessary.Teachers were also critical of attempts to impose a n external assessment system on their teaching. One teacher recommended that "each teache r develop a yearly assessment activity for their students" that would be more con sistent with their own classroom methods as opposed to adopting a statewide system.Lack of clarity and public understanding. Teachers noted that there were too many standards, and that many of the components were unc lear. Many of the social studies teachers, in particular, judged the American histor y standard as too comprehensive and complicated for secondary instruction.Teachers also expressed frustration with the lack o f clarity in the standards statements. Teachers often had difficulty knowing how to transl ate the vague language of the standards and packages into their own classroom act ivities. As one teacher stated: "It was hard to understand. It's cloaked in jargon that very few people follow, and I know that the public doesn't understand it. I know a lot of students didn't understand it. I know some teachers don't understand it."As with the standards statements, teachers complain ed about the clarity of directions and wording in the performance packages as "tedious and beyond the comprehension level of many students." One English teacher offered an illu strative example in the directions for


25 of 37a package requiring students to give public speeche s: Notice that the package wants students to deliver s peeches 'for a variety of purposes, situations, and audiences.' What does tha t mean? How do my students deliver speeches for a variety of audience s? You may think that we may be creative and haul kids to do speeches for an other grade level. Kids and teachers in other grades are already busy. How about kids doing speeches for civic organizations? Great idea. But h ow am I going to evaluate those? Plus, in a small town, we only have a small number of civic organizations. Teachers also noted that some of the packages were too sophisticated or elaborate for secondary students. One teacher described some of t he packages as "the equivalent of at least an upper level undergraduate course, they're so complex and time consuming." Lack of focus on teaching content. Some teachers were critical of what they perceived to be a shift away from teaching content towards a con structivist focus. They also perceived the Profile as representing a diminution in focus on subject m atter content, particularly in terms of literature and history. On e teacher said, "In our district, they don't value the content areas. It's all about process...t he content has no relevance anymore." These teachers were critical of the focus on "hands -on" learning projects, noting that "the projects that we do would never be anything th at I would voluntarily choose to do." Some also noted that the increased focus on a const ructivist approach entails a loss of "the basics." Given their concern with the need to focus on knowledge, they perceived that the performance assessments did not provide a valid measure of knowledge as opposed to "tests [that] show what you know."Concern with political and business influences. In the interviews, teachers were also critical of what they perceived to be the influence of political and business forces in shaping the direction of the Profile Some teachers noted that the previous Governor Arne Carlson and the current Governor Jesse Ventura were unpopular with teachers and the teacher union because they failed to support wh at teachers believed to be adequate levels of school funding, and that these governors were seeking "payback" in the form of imposing the Profile onto teachers. They also believed these governors were attempting to be perceived as promoting educational reform thr ough their support of the Profile when, in fact, they were not providing additional f unding. "People saw through things, like he [Governor Carlson] was claiming that he was increasing the spending on education when in reality by shifting money around and sifting things, there wasn't an increase in money." Teachers were also critical of what they perceived to be the diversion of funding from other areas in order to s upport the implementation of the Profile One teacher noted that "all of the money that the district uses for curriculum development...has gone to write the Profile ." Another explained, "We're in a city here with class sizes that are too big and students' nee ds that are too needy, and here we are spending this money, from a teacher's perspective, on things that I was doing already." In this case, the Profile was seen by teachers as another example of an "unf unded mandate" by the state or federal government, and many teache rs suggested that the money spent on creating and implementing the Profile may have had a greater impact spent on reducing class sizes, providing school materials, or increas ing staffing of school personnel. Some teachers also believed that state legislators were attempting to dictate education policy without an understanding of curriculum and i nstruction. They noted that there


26 of 37was widespread misunderstanding of the Profile given the lack of media coverage and the lack of communication by CFL with the general p opulation. As a result, legislators could characterize the Profile in ways that bore little relationship to teachers' own experiences. As one teacher noted, "The biggest thi ng I fear is that the legislators will start monkeying with something they don't understan d. [This is] non-educators telling teachers what they ought to be doing." Another teac her lamented that "I just feel like these are more hoops for me to jump through to plea se politicians who know nothing about education." This notion of the Profile as "one more hoop" was expressed multiple times during interviews, and captures teachers' per ception of the policy. Teachers also resented the fact that the Profile has become "a political football," in which politicians are using the Profile to further their own agendas, a situation similar to that in the implementation of standards in Arizona (Smith, Heinecke, & Noble, 1999). One teacher believed that conservative legislators were using attacks on the Profile for their own political gain: "It's been so highly poli ticized that it's taken it out of the realm of education and into the realm of educational poli tics." Another teacher noted that the increasing role assumed by legislators in formulati ng educational policy was "professionally undermining—an undermining of our f eeling of being professionals. Most of us have decided that both the state and the district are trying to hold teachers accountable, but that those of us already doing a g ood job are being punished, which is a morale destroyer." Many teachers perceived the inte nt of making teachers more "accountable" as an attempt to discredit teachers. As one teacher noted: The underlying message is that the public doesn't r eally believe teachers are doing their jobs.... In my department of 21, the va st majority of teachers work hard and do a tremendous job with often time-w retched resources. The few who don't are not going to change because of th e Profile Questions about the political forces behind the con struction and implementation of the Profile caused teachers to question its legitimacy. Teachers were also critical of what they perceived as the lobbying influence of business groups in shaping Profile legislation and attempting to further regulate and discredit teachers. They noted that calls for increased "acco untability" reflected an imposition of a business model or discourse onto education. As one teacher noted, "the attempt to lay a business model over an educational system reduced e ducation to an accounting system rather than a human growth system." Another teacher believed that "the entire Profile initiative began when business leaders wanted to im prove the quality of Minnesota graduates so that the profit motive might be more f ruitfully pursued." Although teachers varied in what political forces they attributed the Profile to, they shared the perception that it was primarily a political, not an education al, initiative. Some teachers expressed concern over the legislator s' and governors' continual attempts to modify the Profile noting that such changes undermined their sense o f the potential long-term stability the Profile One teacher complained that because the Profile has "gone through so many revisions, it has been nearly impossible to stay on top of the ‘rules' while also educating 150 kids a day." Given their confusion about current policy, teachers often perceived the entire process as "too complex," resulting in their not knowing what to do. The continuous revisions led to a loss of support for the Profile over time. As one teacher noted: "I am tired of it frankly—all of the changes and repercussions on the classroom. I started out being optimistic and positive about the


27 of 37intent of the standards." Many teachers who had par ticipated in the earliest phases of Profile implementation commented that the continual modifi cations led them to become disenchanted with the process, particularly because of the tremendous amounts of time they invested, only to have the "rules" changed mid -implementation. Accountability? Some teachers argued that if accountability was tr uly what the CFL and state legislature were seeking to accomplish, the Profile would not be a scientific measure because it relied upon subjective scoring a nd students' work was greatly influenced by pre-teaching in their courses. One te acher explained, "I have noticed with my seventh grade son, that the way teachers approac h the standard determines how much he learns from the assignment." Perceptions su ch as this one caused teachers to question using the Profile as a method of holding schools, teachers, or stude nts "accountable."Other teachers noted that requirements across the s tate were inconsistent because the legislature allowed local districts more autonomy i n determining the number of standards that need to be addressed. One teacher wa s resentful of the fact that her district was complying with all of the standards, while othe r districts were requiring fewer standards, leading her to wonder about the future s tatus of the Profile : It's frustrating for a lot of us, because we do hea r that other districts are allowing kids to do things with only eight [standar ds] or four or none at all...we're all kind of wondering if this is going to be like OBE [outcome-based education] and just go away, whether or not it's going to stay; there's a huge dilemma. Some teachers noted that once districts could choos e their own implementation plan, that the Profile was meaningless: Actually what does the Profile mean now after the legislature said you can vote on it, and [name of school] and others schools are doing different things than we're doing here in [name of district]? You know, every school is doing something different. But every school's su pposed to be doing the same things, aren't we? Again, this type of inconsistency reinforced a perc eption of the continual change of the Profile as well as the difficulty of using it as an accou ntability mechanism.Discussion and ConclusionsIf Profile proponents and opponents expect a survey such as t his to prove the Profile "good" or "bad" for Minnesota classrooms, they will be disappointed. The results of the survey suggest the following: Some teachers perceiv e positive changes in teaching and learning as a result of the Profile of Learning. In most instances, the number of teachers reporting positive changes hovers around one-third. For example, similar to other studies, teachers report more interaction with thei r colleagues and greater coordination of content across grade levels (Wilson & Floden, 20 01). This favorable finding is somewhat attenuated by the fact that a majority of teachers indicate that working with the Profile is decreasing their enjoyment of teaching and incr easing their preparation time. Twentieth century U.S. education provides man y examples of reforms teachers embraced but later abandoned in part because of the extensive time commitment


28 of 37required to implement the reform (e.g., The Eight-Y ear Study in the 1930s). The results also suggest that the quality of prepar ation and resources provided to teachers is strongly associated with the way in whi ch teachers view the impact of the Profile. Teachers who rate their preparation for implementi ng the Profile and their available resources as either "good" or "excellent" are much more likely to perceive positive changes in both teaching and learning in t heir classrooms. What we do not know is whether these teachers are predisposed to s ee the "glass half full," and those teachers who rated their preparation and resources as "fair" or "poor" are those who tend to see the "glass half empty," or whether the first group was actually involved in more substantive preparation and has access to better re sources in terms of both quality and quantity. Studies of standards reform efforts throu ghout the country would lend support for the latter interpretation. Professional develop ment is often the weakest aspect of implementing standards-based assessments (Herman, 1 997; Kannapel, Aagaard, Coe, & Reeves, 2001; McDonnell & Choisser, 1997). A study of a statewide reform initiative in Michigan found that individual district differences including size, structure, leadership, and readiness for change all impacted the success o f standards-based professional development (Dutro, Fisk, & Koch, 2002). In the pre sent study, less than 10% of the teachers perceived their preparation and resources to be "excellent," and over one-third of the teachers rated their preparation and resourc es as "poor." A recent national survey indicated that less than h alf of teachers responding thought that they have ample access to curriculum guides, teachi ng materials, and training related to implementing their state standards ( Education Week, 2001). Because state departments of education are often reluctant to dictate control of curriculums at the local district or school level, they may not be providing adequate gu idance for strategies for implementing standards (Scherer, 2001). Conventiona l in-service or workshop training often provide techniques, but may not challenge bas ic assumptions or pre-existing beliefs about teaching (Fairman & Firestone, 2001). Major change also requires extensive resources often lacking in districts or s tates faced with budget cuts. Faced with the demands of everyday instruction, without time f or training or curriculum-development, teachers do not acquire str ategies for implementing change. Fairman and Firestone (2001) noted a basic tension between will —the desire or motivation to make curriculum changes, and capacity —the feasibility to make such changes given time, energy, expertise, and resource s. Teachers in this study indicated that when they were given extensive periods of time —often a matter of years—as well as support and resources, they were more likely to have the will to change. The fact that school districts in Minnesota at the end of the 199 0s experienced marked declines in levels of state funding may mean that there is less capacity to support further Profile implementation.The teachers in this study also expressed widely di verse opinions about the Profile This reflects the inevitable difficulty of ever achievin g consensus between educators, politicians, and parents regarding the desirability of achieving a certain set of standards (Cusick & Borman, 2002; Placier, Walker & Foster, 2 002; Shannon, 2001). Such consensus presumes that all parties were privy to o r were consulted on the formulation of a standards document and that these groups achie ved consensus on a standards document. In a review of the implementation of a st ate assessment in Arizona, Smith, Heinecke, and Noble (1999) argue that instead of co nsensus, "assessment policy is more like a moving target that is variously constructed by political and policy actors as well as


29 of 37the educational practitioners who must respond to i t" (p. 2). During the implementation process, different actors with different intentions enter the process with different, competing agendas (Conway-Gerhardt, 2001). Analysis of the development of the National Council of Teachers of English/Internation al Reading Association language arts/reading national standards indicated a high le vel of disagreement regarding the focus, curriculum philosophy, valued instructional approaches, and strategies for implementation (Mayher, 1999; Shannon, 2001), disag reement that reflected the inevitable differences across different disciplinar y and philosophical perspectives associated with teaching of language arts and readi ng. Given the diversity of their own beliefs and attitudes about teaching, as well as th e variety of their own local teaching conditions, the teachers in this study were uneasy about any presumed consensus related to mandated state-wide curriculum and instruction.The study does not, of course, tell us whether the Profile has actually prompted positive developments in classrooms; the study indicates tha t some teachers perceive the Profile to be having a positive impact on teaching and lear ning in their classrooms. A future study should be based on actual observations of tea ching and learning in classrooms, as well as interviews with both teachers and students.What are the future prospects for the Profile? In an insightful article on assessment-driven reform published in Phi Delta Kappan in 1999, Al Ramirez observed that "in state after state and school district afte r school district, the promise of rich assessment practices has evaporated to be replaced by the more practical and familiar approaches to testing" (p. 205). In many cases, pub lic school officials have determined that performance-based assessments are not appropri ate measures for high-stakes decisions. While the traditional testing format doe s not lend itself well to assessing complex thinking processes, it usually achieves hig h reliability and validity. Nontraditional formats such as those found in the Profile might be more authentic, and might give students more opportunities to demonstra te higher level thinking skills, but measurement specialists have expressed legitimate c oncerns about their reliability and validity. The problem becomes particularly serious when nontraditional formats are used for high stakes testing.The conundrum, of course, is that unless the nontra ditional assessment (in this case, the Profile ) is for high stakes, school districts are unlikely to devote a lot of attention to it (Clarke & Stephens, 1996; Kannapel et al., 2000). T eachers and students are more likely to spend their time preparing for the Basic Skills Test—the "test that counts." Aside from the technical aspects of performance ass essment, it should be stressed that the Profile represents a significant departure from traditiona l views of teaching, learning and assessment—what Tyack and Cuban (1995) term the "grammar of schooling." Initially, school subjects became "learning areas," assignments and tests became "performance assessment packages," and grades of A, B, C, and D became scores of 4, 3, 2, and 1. It is not surprising that the Profile became quite controversial. The Profile illustrates Tyack and Cuban's theory that significa nt deviations from a community's traditional views of schooling are likely to encoun ter strong resistance. As previously noted, CFL has recently adopted langu age that is more consistent with the "grammar of schooling." The learning area "People a nd Cultures" has been renamed "Social Studies," and "Resource Management" is now "Economics and Business." And although still referred to by the media and the com munity as the Profile of Learning ,"


30 of 37CFL has renamed it "Minnesota's High Standards." Th e notion of "high standards," of course, is hardly controversial.Perhaps most significant, however, is the transfer of control from CFL to the local school districts. Local control has long been a dom inant theme in Minnesota's political culture. The high degree of control local school di stricts now have over the way in which the standards are implemented will probably defuse much of the vehement opposition to the Profile. On the other hand, because there is little account ability built into the system, the "high standard of performance across Minnesota" CFL had hoped to achieve is more elusive. Some districts will undoubtedly design hig h quality performance tasks to assess students' ability to "meet the standard," but other s will address the standards at a very superficial level. The teachers who stood on the si delines as the Profile was developed throughout the 1990s and predicted that "this too s hall pass" may yet be proven at least partially correct.Educational historians David Tyack and Larry Cuban offer the following observation about educational reform: We suggest that actual changes in schools [are] mor e gradual and piecemeal than the usual either-or rhetoric of innovation mig ht indicate. Almost any blueprint for basic reform will be altered during i mplementation, so powerful is the hold of the public's cultural const ruction of what constitutes a ‘real school' and so common is the teachers' habi t of hybridizing reforms to fit local circumstances and public expectations. (1995, p.109) The Profile of Learning as it was originally conceived deviated too much f rom our notion of a "real school" to become embedded in the Minnesota public school system. What remains to be seen is how teachers will shape the revised High Standards in their classrooms, and whether their efforts will have a s ubstantial impact on student learning. The results of this study suggest that some variati on of the Profile has the potential to have a positive impact on teaching and learning.AcknowledgmentThis study was funded by a small grant from the Col lege of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota. The authors w ish to express their gratitude to the teachers who participated in the study.NotesWe use the term "authenticity" as it is defined by Fred M. Newmann and his associates at the University of Wisconsin: "Authent icity is the extent to which a lesson, assessment task, or sample of student perfo rmance represents construction of knowledge through the use of disciplined inquiry that has some value or meaning beyond success in the school" (Newmann & As sociates, 1996, p. 164). 1. According to Louis, Kruse, and Marks (1996), "five elements appear critical to school professional community: shared norms and val ues, focus on student learning, reflective dialogue, deprivatization of p ractice, and collaboration" (p. 2.


31 of 37181).Demographic variables, such as gender, teaching exp erience, most advanced degree and school setting, were not associated with teachers' perception of the Profile. There were only two statistically significant diff erences between the English and social studies teachers' responses. Eng lish teachers were more likely to report that the use of the Profile had increased students' understanding of grading criteria, and slightly less likely to indic ate that the Profile had decreased their enjoyment of teaching. 3. N = 441 4. N = 198 5. Forty-seven percent of the teachers who rated their preparation for working with the Profile either "fair" or "poor" perceived an increase in s tudents' higher level thinking as a result of working with the Profile. 6. Sixty-four percent of the teachers who rated their preparation for working with the Profile either "good" or "excellent" perceived an increase in students' higher level thinking as a result of working with the Profile. 7. N = 441 8. N = 198 9. Eighty percent of the teachers who rated their prep aration for working with the Profile either "fair" or "poor" perceived an increase in t heir teacher preparation time as a result of working with the Profile. 10. Eighty-seven percent of the teachers who rated thei r preparation for working with the Profile either "good" or "excellent" perceived an increase in their teacher preparation time as a result of working with the Profile. 11. N = 489 12. N = 161 13. Forty-five percent of the teachers who rated the qu ality of resources available to them as either "fair" or "poor" perceived increases in students higher level thinking as a result of working with the Profile. 14. Sixty-nine percent of the teachers who rated the qu ality of resources available to them as either "good" or "excellent" perceived inc 15. reases in students higher level thinking as a resul t of working with the Profile. 16. N = 489 17. N = 161 18. Eighty-two percent of the teachers who rated the qu ality of resources available to them as either "fair" or "poor" perceived increases in their teacher preparation time as a result of working with the Profile. 19. Eighty-one percent of the teachers who rated the qu ality of resources available to them as either "good" or "excellent" perceived incr eases in their teacher preparation time as a result of working with the Profile. 20.ReferencesAmerica 2000: An Education Strategy. (1991). Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office. Bakst, B. (2002, April 18). House votes to scrap pr ofile of learning. Minneapolis Star Tribune. Available: Bateson, D. (1994). Psychometric and philosophic pr oblems in "authentic" assessment:


32 of 37Performance tasks and portfolios The Alberta Journal of EducationalResearch, 11 (2), 233-245. Black, P. & Wiliam, D. (1998). Assessment and class room learning Assessment in Education 5 (1), pp. 774. Clarke, D., & M. Stephens. (1996). The ripple effec t: The instructional impact of the systemic introduction of performance assessment in mathematics. In Birenbaum, M., & Dochy, F.J.R.C. (Eds.). Alternatives in Assessment of Achievements, Learnin g Processes and Prior Knowledge, (pp. 63-92). Boston: Kluwer. Conway-Gerhardt, C. (2001). Case study: Process of Implementation of K-12 acade mic standards and related assessment. Unpublished dissertation, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Cusick, P. A. & J. Borman. (2002). Reform of and by the system: a case study of a state's effort at curricular and systemic reform. Teachers College Record, 104 (4), 765-786. Department of Children, Families, and Learning. (19 98). Graduation rule, profile of learning: Chapter 3501 (3501.0300 to 3501.1469). St. Paul, MN: Author. Draper, N. (2000, February 3). Poll finds most teac hers dislike Profile of Learning. Minneapolis Star Tribune, p. 3B. Dutro, E., Fisk, M. C., & Koch, R. (2002). When sta te policies meet local district contexts: standards-based professional development as a means to individual agency and collective ownership. Teachers College Record 104 (4), 787-811. Education Week. (2000). Quality Counts 2000. Available: orts/qc00 Education Week. (2001). Quality counts 2001—A better balance: Standards, te sts, and the tools to succeed. Bethesda, MD: Editorial Projects in Education. Education Week. (2002). Quality Counts 2002. Available: orts/qc02 Eisner, E. (1999). The uses and limits of performan ce assessment. Phi Delta Kappan, 80 658-660. Fairman, J. C., & Firestone, W. A. (2001). The dist rict role in state assessment policy: An exploratory study. In S.H. Fuhrman, ed., From the Capital to the Classroom: StandardsBased Reform in the States (pp. 124-147). Chicago, Ill.: University of Chicago Press. Firestone, W. A., Roseblum, S., & Bader, B. D. (199 2). Recent trends in state educational reform: Assessment and prospects. Teachers College Record, 94 (2), 254-277. Herman, J. L. (1997, October). Large-scale assessment in support of school reform: Lessons in the search for alternative measures. CSE Technical Report 446. National


33 of 37Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and S tudent Testing (CRESST), University of California, Los Angeles. Human Capital Research Corporation. (1998 ). Minnesota graduation standards 1998 teacher survey. Chicago: Human Capital Research Corporation. Jackson, A. (2000). An investigation of teachers' p erceptions concerning the implementation of performance-based curriculum and state assessment requirements throughout southeast Missouri school districts. Unp ublished dissertation, St. Louis University. Kannapel, P.J., Aagaard, L., Coe, P., & Reeves, C.A (2001). The impact of standards and accountability on teaching and learning in Kent ucky. In Furhman, S.H. (Ed.). From the capitol to the classroom: Standards-based reform in the states, (pp. 242262). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. Koretz, D., Stecher, B., Klein, S., & McCaffrey, D. (1994, Fall). The Vermont portfolio assessment program: Findings and implications. Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice. 13 (30), 5-16. Lonetree, A. (2002, April 23). Profile of Learning survives Senate repeal effort. Minneapolis Star Tribune Available: Louis, K.S., Kruse, S.D., & Marks, H.M. (1996). Sch oolwide professional community. In Newmann & Associates (Eds.). Authentic achievement: Restructuring schools for intellectual quality (pp. 179-203). San Francisco: JosseyBass. Madaus, G. F. & Kellaghan, T. (1993). The British e xperience with 'authentic' testing. Phi Delta Kappan, 458-469. Mayher, J. (1999). Reflections on standards and sta ndard setting: an insider/outsider perspective on the NCTE/IRA standards. English Education, 31 (2), 106-121. McDonnell, L. M. & Choisser, C. (1997, September). Testing and teaching: Local implementation of new state assessments. CSE Technical Report 442. CRESST/University of California, Santa Barbara. Meisenheimer, B. (1996). Critical attributes of teachers who have become pra ctitioners of authentic assessment Unpublished dissertation, Loyola University of Ch icago. Minnesota Department of Children, Families & Learni ng. (2000). Minnesota graduation standards implementation: How it looks from where i t's happening. St. Paul, Minnesota: Minnesota Department of Children, Famili es & Learning. National Commission on Excellence in Education. (19 83). A nation at risk: The imperatives for educational reform. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. Newmann, F. M. & Associates. (1996). Authentic achievement: Restructuring schools for intellectual quality San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.


34 of 37Newmann, F.M., Secada, W.G., & Wehlage, G.G. (1995) A guide to authentic instruction and assessment: Vision, standards and s coring. Madison, WI: Wisconsin Center for Education Research. Placier, M., Walker, M. & Foster, B. (2002). Writin g the "show-me" standards: Teacher professionalism and political control in U.S. state curriculum policy. Curriculum Inquiry, 32 (3), 281-310. Plake, B. S., & Impara, J. C. (1997). Teacher asses sment literacy: What do teachers know about assessment? In Phye, G. D. (Ed.) Handbook of classroom assessment: Learning, adjustment and achievement (pp. 53-68). San Diego: Academic Press. Ramirez, A. (1999, November). Assessment-driven ref orm: The emperor still has no clothes. Phi Delta Kappan, 81 (3), 204-208. Scherer, M. (2001). How and why standards can impro ve student achievement: A conversation with Robert J. Marzano. Educational Leadership, 59 (1), 14-18. Schomaker, M. & Marzano, R.J. (1999, March). Realiz ing the promise of standards-based education. Educational Leadership, 56 (6), pp. 17-21. Shannon, P. (2001). The power of consensus: Agree, disagree, consent. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Reading Confe rence, San Antonio. Sizer, T.R. (1996 ). Horace's hope: What works for the American high school. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company. Smith, M.L., Heinecke, W. & Noble, A.J. (1999). Sta te assessment becomes political spectacle—Part I: Introduction to policy stories an d policy studies. Teacher College Record [On-line]. Available: Doc. No. 10454 Tyack, D. & Cuban, L. (1995). Tinkering toward utopia: A century of public school reform. Cambridge, MA.: Harvard University Press. Welsh, J. (2001, January 29). Officials pledge scho ol test problems won't be repeated/safeguards 'will ensure this never happens again.' Saint Paul Pioneer Press p.1A. Wiggins, G. P. (1998). Educative assessment: Designing assessments to info rm and improve student performance San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Wilson, S.M., & Floden, R.E. (2001). Hedging bets: Standards-based reform in classrooms In Fuhrman, S.H. (Ed .), From the Capitol to the Classroom: Standards-based Reform in the States (pp. 193-216). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. Wiske, M.S. (Ed.). (1998). Teaching for understanding: Linking research with p ractice. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.About the Authors


35 of 37 Patricia G. Avery is a professor of social studies education at the University of Minnesota. Her research interests include civic edu cation and teacher professional development.E-mail: Richard Beach is professor of English education at the Universit y of Minnesota. His research interests are in the areas of response to literature, media studies, and inquiry methods in secondary English instruction.E-mail: Jodiann R. Coler is currently a doctoral student enrolled in the Cu rriculum and Instruction program at the University of Minnesota. Her research interests include authentic pedagogy and the use of discussion as an instructional strategy.Copyright 2003 by the Education Policy Analysis ArchivesThe World Wide Web address for the Education Policy Analysis Archives is General questions about appropriateness of topics o r particular articles may be addressed to the Editor, Gene V Glass, or reach him at College of Education, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 8 5287-2411. The Commentary Editor is Casey D. Cobb: .EPAA Editorial Board Michael W. Apple University of Wisconsin David C. Berliner Arizona State University Greg Camilli Rutgers University Linda Darling-Hammond Stanford University Sherman Dorn University of South Florida Mark E. Fetler California Commission on Teacher Credentialing Gustavo E. Fischman California State Univeristy–Los Angeles Richard Garlikov Birmingham, Alabama Thomas F. Green Syracuse University Aimee Howley Ohio University Craig B. Howley Appalachia Educational Laboratory William Hunter University of Ontario Institute ofTechnology Patricia Fey Jarvis Seattle, Washington Daniel Kalls Ume University Benjamin Levin University of Manitoba Thomas Mauhs-Pugh Green Mountain College Les McLean University of Toronto Heinrich Mintrop University of California, Los Angeles


36 of 37 Michele Moses Arizona State University Gary Orfield Harvard University Anthony G. Rud Jr. Purdue University Jay Paredes Scribner University of Missouri Michael Scriven University of Auckland Lorrie A. Shepard University of Colorado, Boulder Robert E. Stake University of Illinois—UC Kevin Welner University of Colorado, Boulder Terrence G. Wiley Arizona State University John Willinsky University of British ColumbiaEPAA Spanish Language Editorial BoardAssociate Editor for Spanish Language Roberto Rodrguez Gmez Universidad Nacional Autnoma de Mxico Adrin Acosta (Mxico) Universidad de J. Flix Angulo Rasco (Spain) Universidad de Teresa Bracho (Mxico) Centro de Investigacin y DocenciaEconmica-CIDEbracho Alejandro Canales (Mxico) Universidad Nacional Autnoma Ursula Casanova (U.S.A.) Arizona State Jos Contreras Domingo Universitat de Barcelona Erwin Epstein (U.S.A.) Loyola University of Josu Gonzlez (U.S.A.) Arizona State Rollin Kent (Mxico)Universidad Autnoma de Puebla Mara Beatriz Luce (Brazil)Universidad Federal de Rio Grande do SulUFRGSlucemb@orion.ufrgs.brJavier Mendoza Rojas (Mxico)Universidad Nacional Autnoma deMxicojaviermr@servidor.unam.mxMarcela Mollis (Argentina)Universidad de Buenos Humberto Muoz Garca (Mxico) Universidad Nacional Autnoma deMxicohumberto@servidor.unam.mxAngel Ignacio Prez Gmez (Spain)Universidad de Daniel Schugurensky (Argentina-Canad)OISE/UT, Simon Schwartzman (Brazil)American Institutes for Resesarch–Brazil(AIRBrasil)


37 of 37 Jurjo Torres Santom (Spain)Universidad de A Carlos Alberto Torres (U.S.A.)University of California, Los


Download Options

Choose Size
Choose file type
Cite this item close


Cras ut cursus ante, a fringilla nunc. Mauris lorem nunc, cursus sit amet enim ac, vehicula vestibulum mi. Mauris viverra nisl vel enim faucibus porta. Praesent sit amet ornare diam, non finibus nulla.


Cras efficitur magna et sapien varius, luctus ullamcorper dolor convallis. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Fusce sit amet justo ut erat laoreet congue sed a ante.


Phasellus ornare in augue eu imperdiet. Donec malesuada sapien ante, at vehicula orci tempor molestie. Proin vitae urna elit. Pellentesque vitae nisi et diam euismod malesuada aliquet non erat.


Nunc fringilla dolor ut dictum placerat. Proin ac neque rutrum, consectetur ligula id, laoreet ligula. Nulla lorem massa, consectetur vitae consequat in, lobortis at dolor. Nunc sed leo odio.