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1 September 2011 Educational Curriculum Standards & Standardized Educational Tests: Comparing Apples & Oranges?
William D. Stansfield
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Mandated biology curriculum standards and standardized tests may vary widely from one state to another, making academic-performance comparisons among the states problematic. This report outlines the effects of the “No Child Left Behind” law and uses California as a test case against which teachers in other states may make comparisons of their own biology curriculum standards and tests. Several sources are cited that offer sample multiple-choice questions that have appeared on previous California standardized tests for sciences/life sciences/biology. These examples, and critique thereof, may help teachers better prepare their own tests to improve student performance in meeting the state's curriculum standards in individual science classes and in mandated statewide tests.

© 2011 by National Association of Biology Teachers. All rights reserved. Request permission to photocopy or reproduce article content at the University of California Press's Rights and Permissions Web site at
William D. Stansfield "Educational Curriculum Standards & Standardized Educational Tests: Comparing Apples & Oranges?," The American Biology Teacher 73(7), 389-393, (1 September 2011).
Published: 1 September 2011

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California's STAR program
national vs. state educational curriculum standards
No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
standardized educational tests
student proficiency rates
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