Issue 2/2005, 11. Volume
Die USA als Argument: Anmerkungen anlässlich der Debatte um Bildungsstandards
The article takes a closer look at the mode of reference to international controversies on educational standards in the German academic debate in favour of their introduction. It argues that the references to the US-American state of the debate are highly selective and do not yet sufficiently address the cen-tral issue behind the present American standards-based educational reform: it is embedded in the educational initiative of the current political administration known as the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. The Act is directly linked to a massive national mobilisation and claims to solve the problems associated with equity and quality by holding the educational system and not the individual responsible for test-measured learning outcomes. Hence, performance standards have been linked to high stakes testing rewarding or punishing schools. Even before massive disillusionment with NCLB has set in, critics have warned against the negative effects of high stakes testing especially with regards to students at risk. The example shows that the attempt to force schools to ensure that students meet minimum standards has adverse effects.