Beyond Standards

Beyond Standards The Fragmentation of Education Governance and the Promise of Curriculum Reform

Morgan Polikoff
paper, 192 Pages
Pub. Date: May 2021
ISBN-13: 978-1-68253-611-7
Price: $33.00

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cloth, 192 Pages
Pub. Date: May 2021
ISBN-13: 978-1-68253-612-4
Price: $60.00

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Beyond Standards highlights the structural conditions that have undermined the success of the standards movement and challenges us to confront them. The book offers an impassioned argument about the ways that our decentralized educational systems undermine the pursuit of educational equity and excellence.


Sobering though it is, Beyond Standards is essential reading, especially for those of us who see the implementation of high-quality instructional materials as a promising lever for improving student outcomes. Not all readers will agree with Polikoff's proposed solutions, but his diagnosis of the problem is spot-on. — Michael J. Petrilli, president, Thomas B. Fordham Institute

In Beyond Standards, Morgan Polikoff argues that standards are inherently too vague to enable teachers to arrive at a common or accurate understanding of what they need to teach or to identify the right materials for teaching it. — Education Next

Beyond Standards is thoughtful, well written, and quite clear in its bias for more uniform schooling. An excellent companion for classroom discussions alongside, for example, Diane Ravitch’s Slaying Goliath. — Choice Magazine

Beyond Standards lays out a powerful critique of the macro forces that prevent us from achieving our education goals. This volume offers a coherent and well-evidenced diagnosis of the problem and outlines a promising avenue for change at the state and district level. We hope that readers who are convinced by Polikoff’s framing of the problem and proposed solution will be moved to research such questions to begin advocating for change. — Teachers College Record

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About the Author

Morgan Polikoff, PhD, is an associate professor of education at the University of Southern California (USC) Rossier School of Education. He received his doctorate in education policy from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010 and his bachelor’s in mathematics with a minor in secondary education in 2006. He has published more than forty peer-reviewed journal articles, with his research primarily focusing on the design, implementation, and effects of standards, curriculum, assessment, and accountability policies in American education. To investigate these issues, he has also been principal investigator or co–principal investigator on grants totaling more than $15 million. In 2017, for his work on these topics, he received the Early Career Award from the American Educational Research Association (AERA). A committed public scholar, he also received the AERA Outstanding Public Communication of Education Research Award in 2020. He has been an associate editor of the American Educational Research Journal and a coeditor of Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis. He has also been awarded by both USC Rossier and USC for his mentoring of PhD students. A three-time trivia game show champion, Morgan lives in Los Angeles with his husband, Joel Hart, and their cattle dog mutt, Indy.

Table of Contents

Chapter One

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