The Status of Standards Reform
Over the last decade, concern over our global economic status and
the role of public education in preparing workers has led to a push
for standards reform. Two converging reform strategies have emerged:
1) to create a voluntary system of academic standards (e.g.,
in math, science, English, civics) for students in kindergarten
through twelfth grade, and 2) to create a voluntary system of
industry skill standards that specify prerequisite
skills for individuals planning to enter certain industries and
occupations (e.g., electronics, health care, printing, human
Standards-driven reform is not without controversy. The notion of
national academic standards, synonymous in many minds with federal
efforts such as Goals 2000: Educate America Act of 1994,
raises concern that local autonomy will be jeopardized. Meanwhile,
industry skill standards, when linked to public school curricula,
trigger concerns that schools will simply become a training ground
to ensure better products and services.
The question is not so much whether academic or industry skill
standards should exist. They already do -- at state, local, and
federal levels. At issue is who should be setting standards, how
they should be implemented, how the multiple and diverse standards
development efforts should be integrated, and which types of
standards will best improve learning and ensure a high-performing
Currently, business and education officials are joining forces to
use industry skill standards as an important tool for integrating
vocational and academic curricula among secondary, post-secondary
and workplace education programs. While many concur that a coherent
system of academic and industry standards makes sense, tensions
arise over who should lead the shaping of such a comprehensive
effort: educators? business leaders? parent coalitions?
Business has asserted greater influence over public schooling in
recent years, citing as motivation its contribution to the taxbase
and its need to maintain economic competitiveness through
well-prepared workers. Some are concerned that an industry-dominated
agenda, driven by market considerations, would sacrifice, over time,
a well-rounded education. But most, including business leaders,
acknowledge that schools must also prepare students to be literate
citizens, able to contribute to their communities and make informed
decisions as voters.
The challenge facing policymakers is to determine how and to what
degree academic and industry skill standards systems should be
integrated. To make sound decisions, policymakers need to understand
the complexities involved in standards-based reform and cross-sector
This Policy Brief reviews the issues surrounding standards
reform, with a particular eye on the use of industry standards. It
discusses the history and evolution of the role of schools in worker
preparation, describes types of standards currently under
development, proposes ways to create a more coherent standards
infrastructure, and elaborates on the tensions that must be
navigated at various stages of development and implementation.
The Past: A Dual Track System
Throughout the years, school reforms have more or less paralleled
fluctuations in labor market demands. During the industrial
revolution at the turn of the century, for example, educational
goals reflected the skills needed by the manufacturing industry:
e.g., a seventh or eighth grade level of literacy and a day or two
of skill training (Tucker, 1995). Meanwhile, those training for
management or professional positions were given more extensive
general education with few job specific applications.
Over time, a two-tiered system evolved, comprising an academic
track for college-bound students and a vocational track for the
non-college bound. By providing the first federal funding
specifically designated for vocational education programs, the
Smith Hughes Act of 1917 served to further reinforce this
The duality continued for several decades, with increased funding
for vocational education coinciding with peak periods of economic
activity (e.g., World-War II). However, concerns were raised that
vocational track students were consigned to an inferior education.
Later, this criticism expanded to question the quality of the entire
educational system. Reports and studies of the last decade
(Nation at Risk, 1983; America's Choice: High Skills or
Low Wages, 1990) point to the high numbers of students entering
the labor force without the requisite academic and work-related
skills needed to succeed in an increasingly competitive
Disturbed by this trend, industry has led the push for reforms
that equip students with the adaptable, higher level skills needed
for a "high performance," decentralized workplace where workers are
required to take on greater responsibility, collaborate effectively,
and become more involved in decision-making processes. Several
national reports in recent years underscore industry's demand for
employees with competencies in these areas (Commission on the Skills
of the American Workforce, 1990; CCSSO, 1995; SCANS, 1991).
The Present: Greater Integration
The move to create an integrated academic and vocational system
is an attempt to address these high performance workplace needs.
Since the early 90s, state and federal government proposals have
aimed to upgrade the caliber of curriculum by creating a coherent
system of aligned standards and assessments. These standards and
assessments are designed to promote high level competencies through
applied, work-based learning experiences.
The passage of the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied
Technology Education Act (Perkins II) in 1990 significantly
advanced this concept of integrated academic and industry standards
by encouraging broad-based consensus building. This pivotal law
required vocational education programs to develop and implement a
system of performance standards, assessment measures, and services
that provide "strong experience in and understanding of all aspects
of the industry students are preparing to enter, including planning,
finance, management, technical and production skills, underlying
principles of technology, community issues, labor issues, and
health, safety and environment" (Perkins II).
Overseas examples also fueled support for standards. Successes of
other standards and certification systems in industrialized nations
such as Japan, Germany, Denmark and Canada led the Bush and Clinton
Administrations to champion standards as the cornerstone of their
education and labor reform agendas. In 1992, the U.S. Departments of
Labor and Education jointly initiated funding for projects to
develop industry skill standards in 22 diverse industries such as
agricultural biotechnology, electrical construction, printing and
health care. All 22 projects are expected to have final standards,
as well as assessment & certification procedures, by Fall of
The standards movement reached new heights in 1994 when Congress
passed three interlocking pieces of legislation: the
School-to-Work Opportunities Act, Goals 2000: Educate
America Act, and Improving America's Schools Act, which
jointly promote the development of voluntary systems of national
academic and industry skill standards and assessments.
In 1994, the U.S. School-to-Work Office, housed under both the
U.S. Departments of Labor and Education, provided grants to help
each state develop a comprehensive plan for students'
school-to-career transition. This year, school-to-work
implementation grants are providing "venture capital" to states
whose comprehensive plans include, but are not limited to:
partnering with multiple agencies and organizations; integrating
school-to-work with other reforms, workforce development plans, and
economic development plans; combining work-based and school-based
learning; using portable skill standards and certification; and
providing universal access to school-to-work programs.
The Future: Streamlining and
Current Congressional proposals, such as block granting numerous
programs to states, sends a clear message: Coordination is not
enough. Several pending bills would consolidate over 100
vocational education, training, and school-to-work programs
currently in place into a single workforce preparation block grant.
Fueling this movement are studies such as a 1993 General Accounting
Office report, which revealed that many of these programs duplicate
services to targeted populations. Moreover, conflicting requirements
and operating cycles hamper general service delivery. Opponents to
block grants, however, worry that such efficiency efforts will go
too far, leading to funding cuts that cripple needed programs.
Several proposals before Congress would create new funding
streams, most likely sending block grants to the governor of each
state. This would shift responsibility for such activities as
negotiating allocation formulas and monitoring equity compliance
from state departments of education to the governor or his/her
designee. New relationships with the Governor's Office will need to
be forged, not only by state departments to facilitate strong state
leadership, but by districts as well.
Tensions in the Standards Debate
Forging these new relationships will be made easier if a common
level of understanding is reached about how standards are defined,
developed and implemented.
Creating Common Definitions and Formats. Whether standards
are academic or industry-related, they should convey expectations of
what individuals should know and be able to do. Developing a
consistent, high quality format for standards, however, has been
hampered by a lack of consensus about what form standards should
take, their purpose, and their level of detail. Surprisingly little
agreement has been reached even within projects sharing the same
goals and funding sources. Existing standards differ significantly
in breadth, depth, specificity and many other important dimensions,
largely due to the prevailing philosophy of the lead group
responsible for development.
This confusion is a significant obstacle as groups of educational
professionals, industry leaders and policymakers attempt to develop
and implement academic and industry standards. In order to provide
some clarity, a typology for standards currently under development
is suggested in Sidebar
To facilitate the standards development process, some suggest
that jobs be grouped according to the skills needed to perform them,
rather than grouping them according to their job titles or industry
group (Tucker, 1995).
The Feasibility of Standards Reform. Supporters contend
that a standards-driven instructional system, coordinated across
industry and education, could benefit many cross-sections of
society. Workers, for example, would have "portable" credentials
giving them greater mobility to pursue positions with higher wages,
better job security and opportunity for advancement. Employers would
have uniform criteria to recruit, screen, and place employees more
efficiently. Students would have a clearer set of directions to help
them prepare and set goals for future employment. Educators would
have guidelines for designing curriculum and instruction at a more
consistent and higher level for all students. Finally, consumers
would have an accountability infrastructure for judging the quality
of performance by schools, programs, workers and students.
But critics remain skeptical. Apart from philosophical concerns
mentioned earlier, many worry about the ability of a
standards-driven system to produce universally positive results.
They fear that a system of standards, without the resources
necessary to carry out genuine changes, will simply raise
expectations without leading to any real results.
Several related implementation issues exist. For example, how
will those at the school level be aware of, or be able to adopt, the
numerous academic and industry skill standards being developed at
the national, state and local levels? Others point out that most
service providers currently lack the training and capacity necessary
to support students and workers in developing the skills required by
new standards. Is it realistic, for example, to expect that teachers
will have the appropriate professional development and the time
necessary to upgrade their instructional strategies to address both
vocational and academic standards? If not, how long will it take to
retrain them, how much will it cost, and who will pay?
Coalition Building. Policymakers who have built support
for standards have typically done so by arguing they will be created
through a broad-based deliberative process. Development should
include balanced representation from all constituencies that have a
direct material interest in the resultant standards (workers, labor
organizations, K-12 and post-secondary educators, employers,
professional associations, consumers, government).
Such consensus building is not simple. Education and business
often lack a process for communicating among themselves. Partly, as
a result, they have mixed success with collaboration that leads to
genuine systemic reform. If the joint product of these disparate
groups is to be useful and acceptable to all, it must be developed
through careful facilitation and coordination. In Sidebar
Two is an example of a standards development process that
illustrates ways to optimize coalition building.
Deciding when different stakeholders' input should be included is
another issue. Some propose that business constituencies direct the
development of industry skill standards while education
constituencies direct academic standards development. Others have
proposed that educators lead all standards development up until the
later high school years, at which time industry skill standards tend
to play a more predominant role. Within the skill standards
development process, similar questions exist. For example, at which
point should the opinions of on-line workers, supervisors or
employers be included?
Another source of tension is that standards, once developed, may
serve different uses for different groups. Educators, for example,
increasingly want less prescriptive and less narrowly defined
standards. On the other hand, business typically desires a more
specific level of standard articulation because of intended uses
(e.g., to use skill requirements for hiring and promotion). Thus,
"translation" between groups is often required for an integrated set
of standards if all intended uses across constituencies are to be
Equity. A driving force behind support for standards-based
reform is the desire to raise capability levels of all students and
workers. But is it reasonable to expect that all students and
workers, including those who are limited-English proficient or
physically or mentally disabled, meet the same set of high standards
at the same time and in the same way?
Proponents believe that if standards are developed and widely
disseminated, all segments of society will understand the
requirements for reaching high levels of performance and,
consequently, have a fairer opportunity for success. However, others
worry that higher standards will only widen the gap between the
haves and have nots because disadvantaged groups will not be
provided the support necessary to achieve at higher levels. Equally
important is developing assessment practices to measure whether
standards have been met that consider the variable learning and
performance styles of all students.
Equity problems have already surfaced in the performance-based
assessment movement. In some cases, achievement gaps appear to widen
between traditionally low and high performing groups as new forms of
assessment are introduced. Some analysts predict that because of
legal protections ensuring equal educational access for females,
minority group members, and persons with handicaps, some proposed
sets of standards and related assessment systems may be challenged
under existing civil rights laws (Pullin, 1994). These standards may
be challenged for their potential ability to lead to exclusion from
certain job or educational opportunities. Such a scenario
underscores the importance of consulting with the special education
or the second-language development community during the standards
and assessment development process.
Continual Updating. Knowledge and skill requirements are
constantly changing in the workplace. For standards to be maximally
useful, development efforts must balance current business needs with
anticipated future needs. Standards should not be static; given the
rapid pace of industrial transformation, they should be continuously
updated to reflect current industry and employment realities. This
updating is consistent with business organizational change
strategies that promote continuous improvement, such as Total
At the same time, standards cannot be so future-oriented that
they produce employees without currently needed skills. A 1995
survey of over 4,000 private firms conducted by the National Center
on the Educational Quality of the Workforce found that, contrary to
popular opinion, "high performance" work systems are still more the
exception than the rule. The demand is for standards that are both
grounded in current workforce conditions and reflective of likely,
as opposed to highly speculative, future needs.
Today's technology can play a major role in ensuring that
standards stay current. Databases and on-line networks can be used
to update, disseminate, and validate standards before they become
obsolete or dated.
Portability of Certification. Researchers argue that
national voluntary standards are key to preparing an internationally
competitive workforce. For the most part, the business community
also supports centralized, nationalized skill standards and
associated assessments. Unlike other countries, however, education
and training in the U.S. is highly decentralized and does not lend
itself readily to a top-down approach. This means that a voluntary
national system of standards-based certification and accreditation
must allow states and localities the flexibility to determine for
themselves what students and workers should know and be able to do.
But in order for certification and accreditation to be portable
across states and regions, some degree of local flexibility may have
to be sacrificed.
Standards Development in the
To develop a skill standards and assessment system, state
leadership is imperative. States are making progress developing
skill standards systems. A number are working closely with
industries to define the skills required in the modern workplace
(Ganzglass and Simon, 1993). Several states have governance
structures, such as state skill standards boards, to provide
assistance in such work as developing and implementing skill
standards and establishing partnerships between schools and
industries. Only a few, however, have begun to link skill standards
with academic standards through various collaborative means and have
begun to develop certifications that lend themselves to
According to a 1993 survey of state vocational-technical
education agencies and their use and development of skill standards,
48 states use occupational skill standards for curriculum
development, 47 for articulation between secondary and postsecondary
programs, and 42 for assessing acquired skills (Institute for
Educational Leadership, 1993). A substantial portion of the
state-level skill standards activities are being conducted through
consortia, such as the Vocational Technical Education Consortium of
the States, with member states regularly reviewing and adding to the
pool of standards. Despite these reports of widespread development
of, use of, and collaboration on skill standards across the states,
no one set of skill standards has been adopted across all states,
and no more than half are using a common set of standards for a
particular occupation (Wills, 1994).
States in the FWL Region
Two of the four states in the Far West Laboratory (FWL)
region, Arizona and Utah, received federal School-to-Work
implementation grants this year ($3.6 million and $2.4 million,
respectively). The remaining two states, California and Nevada,
while they did not receive federal School-to-Work funds this
year, have designed alternative methods for continuing work in this
Arizona. Since 1989 Arizona has conducted occupational
analyses to determine the occupational and academic skills needed to
perform particular occupations. These skill standards are intended
to be compared with the new academic subject matter standards (to
replace the state's Essential Skills, i.e., content standards)
currently under development at the state level. According to the
state's school-to-work proposal submitted by the Governor's Office,
a comparison with applicable products from the national skill
standards projects, as well as those produced by other associations,
is also intended, to keep standards current and comprehensive.
The statewide school-to-work plan describes a comprehensive
system emphasizing a high level of basic skills and academic
knowledge integrated with general workplace skills and initial
occupational skills to prepare all 12th grade students for
postsecondary education, postsecondary training or entry into the
workforce. The system will emphasize career guidance and will
provide work-based learning opportunities and a diverse set of
career pathways to all students. It is planned that all students
will have received a certificate of initial mastery (CIM) in their
chosen career path or major by the 10th grade and all 11-12th grade
students will complete a high school diploma, career portfolio and
workplace-specific or higher education placement test. Local
planning and implementation grants will be awarded in Winter
California. California has outlined an extensive
School-to-Career system, in which issues surrounding the integration
of academic and industry standards are specifically addressed. This
system was outlined by the Governor's School-to-Career Task Force, a
collaboration of industry, education, state agency, and business
representatives. The California Department of Education is currently
collaborating in the development of a template for performance-based
assessments, using grade-level content standards. This template,
part of the Career-Technical Assessment Program (C-TAP), will be
adaptable to new and emerging career pathway programs. The template
is based on both content and performance standards and includes
portfolios, on-demand problem solving, and other performance-based
In addition, State Superintendent Delaine Eastin has proposed the
Golden State Achievement Certificate as a requirement for graduates
of the class of 2004. The Certificate is part of the Department's
new Challenge initiative, which includes career preparation studies
as part of the graduation requirements for all students. As such,
the Certificate would address workplace readiness, as well as
Nevada. Nevada's state legislature has provided $2 million
in fiscal years 1996 and 1997 to implement a statewide
school-to-work transition initiative. Nevada's state planning team
-- made up of members from across state agencies, community
colleges, labor organizations, etc. -- the Nevada Workforce
Agencies, has developed, as part of the Nevada 2000 school reform
plan, a school-to-work transition plan in which the Nevada
Department of Education along with other state organizations and
associations, will identify necessary skills, learning contexts, and
work-based learning opportunities to enable students to "compete in
a global economy and exercise the rights and responsibilities of
citizenship" (School-to-Work Goals from the Nevada 2000
This school-to-work initiative, because of the availability of
state funds, has entered the implementation stages. Four regional
partnerships are established to provide local leadership and a
governance system to serve all geographic areas of the state. The
Nevada Workforce Agencies also developed and approved the criteria
in the application guidelines for local implementation grants. The
guidelines provide a structure for providing career development to
all students and a curricular structure emphasizing career
paths/majors, secondary to postsecondary education program
articulation, and work-based learning opportunities.
As yet, there has not been a strong focus on industry skill
standards, although their state funding is fostering considerable
local momentum in broad-based standards development. Their state
planning team has also recently expanded its membership to include
business community representation, in order to address some of the
industry skill needs.
Utah. Utah's statewide school-to-work plan, awarded a $2.4
million implementation grant for this year, is designed to be
closely aligned with three other major statewide initiatives: its
Five-Year Strategic Plan, its Centennial Schools program to promote
the innovative restructuring of schools, and the development of a
core curriculum guided by high standards. A key part of its
school-to-work effort is a program that provides each student with a
Student Educational Occupational Plan (SEOP), which includes a
career major, career awareness and exploration opportunities, and
work and/or service learning experiences.
The state has placed a strong emphasis on technology. They will
also be using their state electronic network, UTAHNET, to integrate
and connect various information and technical assistance resources
to schools and career preparation programs. Distance learning
programs will assist students in rural areas.
Skill standards development is occurring in cooperation and
consultation with employers and other stakeholders. Student skills
will be certified and portable, by integrating industry and academic
standards and learning from the standards other national
associations, national standard's projects and others have already
developed and implemented.
The state also provides local school districts with categorical
funding to ensure that Applied Technology Education programs have
the resources for equipment, curriculum, and training updates. Ten
percent of those funds are allocated on the basis of documented
student placement; another ten percent is allocated on the basis of
their skill certification.
States currently face a formidable challenge. The development and
integration of standards remains complicated and largely uncharted.
What is clear is the importance of creating standards with all
interested parties at the same table. Standards have a greater
chance of being widely supported, meaningful and practical when they
are developed through a carefully facilitated process that considers
the needs and interests of all sides.
Setting standards is important, but it is only a first step.
Equally important are other related education and worker preparation
program reforms, such as implementing performance-based assessments
and certifications, incentive systems and professional development.
When aligned to support the attainment of standards, many hope that
together these efforts will create an effective infrastructure to
guide the improvement of all students' transitions through school
and the world of work.
Many voice a familiar caution that raising standards without
raising resources will ultimately prove to be an exercise in
futility. Even so, laying out a clear vision of what students need
to know and do in order to succeed, others say, is not only fair but
ought to be a reform strategy to which everyone can agree.
Sidebar One: Types of Standards
Currently Under Development
The following general definitions provide a typology of standards
currently under development. These standards sometimes overlap and
are best used in conjunction with one another, as part of an
Core academic standards cover school subject matter
areas such as mathematics, language arts and science, the
necessary building blocks for functioning as a member of society
as well as for developing career-related skills. An example of a
science standard is one that requires a student to demonstrate
that he/she "knows that by eating food, people obtain energy and
materials for body repair and growth" and "can design a
Workplace readiness standards cover generic skills and
qualities that workers must have in order to learn and adapt to
the demands of any job. Recent studies (SCANS, 1991 and
CCSSO Workplace Readiness Consortium, 1995, Revised) have pointed
to interpersonal skills, critical thinking and problem-solving,
communication, and information and technology skills as keys to
success in the future workplace.
Program specific standards address the knowledge and
skills needed for a particular program or career focus, such as
humanities, arts, or industry-specific areas (e.g., health care,
electronics, human services, printing). Within industry-specific
standards, there are three additional layers: 1) industry-core
standards that cover skills needed in nearly all the
occupations of a particular industry; 2) occupational family
standards, which include the skills and knowledge needed to
perform functions across a family of occupations in a particular
industry (a variant of occupational family standards examines
common skills, or "cross-functional skills," not only within
industries but across industries -- e.g., retail skills cross over
several industries); and 3) job-specific standards, which
relate to skills of a specific occupation. In the agricultural
biotechnology field, for example, a technician is required to have
certain job-specific technical skills such as the ability to
"maintain and analyze fermentation materials" (National FFA
Each type of standard listed above can take the form of a content
or performance standard. Content standards refer to what we
expect individuals to know and be able to do (Kendall & Marzano,
1994). Regardless of the intended use, content standards should
consist of two parts -- cognitive, indicating the type of knowledge
expected, and behavioral, which specifies how a student applies that
knowledge. Performance standards indicate levels of
achievement or competency within a content area, e.g., advanced,
proficient and basic.
Sidebar Two: One Approach to Standards
Development Through Coalition Building
Policymakers who wish to adapt industry skill standards and
integrate them into their other educational reform efforts, may wish
to follow the methodology used by the National Health Care Skill
Standards Project, directed by Far West Laboratory. Several lessons
were learned during the course of this project, including:
Don't Reinvent the Wheel. Gather any analyses or related
research that helps to identify the specific skills required in
the industry, within and across specific occupations or
occupational clusters. Review work done by other professional
associations or agencies in developing sets of competencies
required by industry. This research can be synthesized and
summaries drafted that are categorized by skill area. These
summaries and existing examples of standards could be organized in
a project database.
Create an Inclusive Drafting Process. Bring together
stakeholders (e.g., representatives from industry, labor, and
education, parents and students) to begin drafting industry
standards. Convene separate committees, representing an array of
expertise relevant to the skills necessary for the industry, the
designated occupational cluster, and/or individual occupations.
Drawing on the skill area summaries, facilitated group discussion,
and their own expertise, members of committees then formulate a
draft version of the standards, to be subject to review and
Ensure Validity and Clarity of Standards Using Multiple
Forums. To ensure conceptual soundness and broad
applicability, the review process should be quite extensive and
include multiple methods. For example:
The authors would like to thank Barbara Nemko & Sandra Sarvis
for overall comments and revisions. In addition, we would like to
thank the State Departments and Governor's Offices in our four-state
region for their assistance and input in this Brief.
- William Morrison, Director, School-to-Work Division
- Governor's Office of Community and Family Program
- (602) 542-2315
- Charles Losh, Director of Vocational Education
- School-to-Work Division
- Arizona Department of Education
- (602) 542-5106
- Robert Hotchkiss, Deputy Director
- Program and Policy Development
- Employment Development Department (EDD)
- Governor's Office
- (916) 654-8656
- Sonia Hernandez
- Chief Advisor and Policy Coordinator to the Superintendent of
- (916) 657-5485
- Phyllis Rich, Director
- Occupational and Continuing Education
- Nevada Department of Education
- (702) 687-3144
- Barbara Weinberg, Administrator
- Department of Employment, Training & Rehabilitation
- (702) 687-4310
- Janet Eckle, State Coordinator, North
- Nevada Department of Education
- (702) 888-0455
- Scott Hess, Coordinator
- School to Careers
- Department of Education
- (801) 538-7850
- Lynn Jensen, Coordinator
- Integrated Curriculum and Student Services
- Department of Education
- (801) 538-7851
- Brustein, M., & Mahler, M. (1993). AVA guide to the
school-to-work opportunities act. Alexandria, VA: American
- Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Act of
1990, 10 U.S.C. 2321.
- Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce. (1990,
June). America's choice: High skills or low wages!
Rochester, NY: National Center on Education and the Economy.
- Conference Board, Inc. (1995, June). Schools: Should business
set their agenda. Across the Board, 32(6). p. 16.
- Council of Chief State School Officers. (1995, July).
Consensus framework of workplace readiness, 1995 revision.
Washington, DC: Author.
- Ganzglass, E., & Simon, M. (1993). State initiatives on
industry-based skill standards and credentials. Washington,
DC: National Governor's Association.
- General Accounting Office. (1993, June). Multiple
employment training programs: Conflicting requirements hamper
delivery of services. Washington, DC: Author.
- The Institute for Educational Leadership (1993) An overview
of skill standards systems in education and industry, Volume
I. Washington, DC: Author.
- Kendall, J.S. & Marzano, R.J. (1994). The systematic
identification and articulation of content standards and
benchmarks. Aurora, CO: Mid-continent Regional Educational
- Lee, C., Casello, J., May, T., Bryant, C., Foster, R.,
Goodwin, W., & Meeham, M. (1994). Occupational skill
standards projects. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of
Education and U.S. Department of Labor.
- McCarthy, K. (1994). School-to-work. A guide for state
policymakers. National Conference of State Legislatures and
Jobs for the Future. Investing in People Project, Issue Paper No.
- Morra, L. (1993). Occupational skill standards: Experience
shows industry involvement to be key. Gaithersburg, MD: U.S.
General Accounting Office.
- National Commission on Excellence in Education. (1983). A
nation at risk: The imperative for educational reform.
Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.
- National FFA Foundation. (1994). National voluntary
occupational skill standards: Agricultural biotechnology
technician. Washington, DC: Author.
- Pearlman, K. (1993) The skill standards project and the
redesign of the nation's occupational classification system.
Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Labor.
- Pullin, D.C. (1994, Spring). Learning to work: The impact
of curriculum and assessment standards on educational
opportunity. Harvard Educational Review, 64(1).
- Resnick, L., & Nolan, K. (1995, March). Where in the
world are world-class standards? Educational Leadership,
- Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (1991).
What work requires of schools: A SCANs report for America
2000. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Labor.
- Sheets, R.G. (1994). Skill standards systems in Germany,
Japan, and Canada: Implications for a U.S. skill standards system.
Washington DC: National Governor's Association.
- Tucker, M. (1995). On occupational clusters: Early thoughts
on organizng the work of the National Skill Standards Board.
Rochester, NY: National Center on Education and the Economy.
- Wills, J.L. (1994). Skill standards in the U.S. and
abroad, (four volumes). Washington, DC: Institute for