West Allis-West Milwaukee schools are
increasingly becoming "standards based." A standards-based education is
one that measures what students know and can do in a particular subject.
They are based on Wisconsin Model Academic Standards, which were
recently adopted by the state legislature and were developed by
educators, business people, and other citizens.
The advantage of standards is that they
are consistent from one classroom to another, from one school to
another, and from one school district to another. Knowing specifically
what it is that students are expected to know and be able to do, as
defined by state and school district, allows teachers to focus their
instruction on what has been determined to be important.
Standards provide a guideline for textbook
adoptions and curriculum revisions. Teachers select materials based on
how well they match the standards.
Standardized assessments, or testing, go
hand-in-hand with academic standards. Such assessments provide parents
and others with a means of determining whether or not students are
learning what is taught. Standardized assessment tools enable educators
to determine successes and areas in need of improvement.
Model Standards are also mandated by the state, and all indications are
that they will be required of public schools well into the foreseeable