Goals 2000: Educate America Act
In March 1994, President Clinton signed
the Goals 2000: Educate America Act. He said that, "We insist,
with Goals 2000, that every student can learn. We insist that
it's time to abolish the outdated distinction between academic
learning and skill learning. We know now that most academics
has practical application, and that, more and more, practical
problems require academic knowledge. And I hope to goodness we
don't do anything else - we've
finally erased that divide so that we can teach our young people
to learn in the way that best suits their own capacities and
the work they have to do. But I am absolutely convinced that
there is not a single, solitary problem in American education
that has not been solved by somebody, somewhere. What we have
done as a nation is to resist learning from each other, to resist
institutionalizing change, to resist, therefore, holding ourselves
accountable for results as a nation.
Clinton added that what we the government
was trying to do with Goals 2000 is to say, here are the goals,
you figure out how to get there, you learn from each other. Come
up with aggressive plans, we will help you fund them and go forward,
but you are in charge. The federal government can't tell you
how to do it, but we can help you get it done. What this Goals
2000 movement, with the School to Work program, with the adult
education program, with the retraining program and the re-employment
program, what it all seeks to do is to give America a system
by which at the grass roots level we can fulfill the promise
of Brown v. Board of Education for all our people. "
Secretary Richard Riley observed at the
kick off meeting for Goals 2000 that, "some of you will
use the new provisions of Goals 2000 to expand what you have
started. Some of you will use it to reinvigorate and connect
existing reforms. And others of you may use it to launch a comprehensive
new effort to improve teaching and learning. That's really what
we're about isn't it? But how you use Goals 2000 to encourage
learning back home is really your choice. I urge you to think
big, to think comprehensively, to recognize that this won't happen
in a year or in just a few years. We spent ten years getting
to the point where we had the support to pass Goals 2000. A Nation
at Risk was ten years ago. We will probably spend another ten
years making it work for all of our children."
Three times in the last six years, Congress
has attempted to pass education reform legislation and each time
it has been unable to resolve its differences. The strong bipartisan
support for Goals 2000 demonstrates that we are ready to move
from "a nation at risk" to a nation on the move.
The enactment of Goals 2000 is the beginning
of a new era in school and education reform - a revolutionary,
all-inclusive plan to change every aspect of our education system,
while at the same time aligning its individual parts with one
It offers an opportunity for those concerned
with the state of American education to become involved in the
implementation of real change and improvement of our nation's
education system, working at the local community and state levels.
It will create and improve learning opportunities for everyone
from pre-school to those who return to school.
By generating enthusiasm in schools and
states throughout this nation, it will create thousands of community-based
reform efforts, each working for the betterment of our educational
system, and each allowing every school and every student to be
the best they can be - to learn to world-class standards.
Goals 2000 will move the nation toward
a system that is based on high standards that all students can
meet - a system that will provide both equity and excellence
for all of the students in this country.
When we fail to hold all students to high
standards, the results are low achievement and the tragic experience
of children leaving school without ever having been challenged
to fulfill their potential.
High standards lets everyone in the education
system know what to aim for. It allows every student, every parent
and every teacher to share in common expectations of what students
should know and be able to accomplish. Students will learn more
when more is expected of them, in school and at home. And, aligning
teacher education, instructional materials, assessment practices
and parental involvement, will create coherence in educational
The American people have said they are
ready to move from the old assembly line version of education
to a better way of educating their children. They want their
children to be part of the new, emerging high-tech, high-knowledge
economy of the 21st century.
By transforming the national education
goals into a policy for which committed people across our nation
can work, President Clinton has helped to ensure that the future
of this nation will remain strong and secure and that its citizens
will be able to compete and prosper in this new global economic
era that is already upon us.
Since early in our history, the public
education system of this nation has been a magnet and a model
for people throughout the world who yearn to make something better
of their lives. It is a beacon of light across the globe, a symbol
of our democratic and egalitarian traditions. Unfortunately,
in recent years, this standard has slipped; the beacon has dimmed.
That is why the Goals 2000 law is so important, as well as the
subsequent enactment of additional education reform legislation
like the School-to-Work Opportunities Act, and the revolutionary
reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Act, both of
which are designed to dovetail with Goals 2000. Each of these
important changes in the law will offer federal assistance in
implementing local education reform...help that is designed to
assist, but not interfere with the traditional local character
It has been nearly thirty years since this
nation has seen the kind of reform in education that Goals 2000
offers. It is up to us to ensure that we maximize the opportunities
this law offers us and work to guarantee a challenging education
for every student. For the future of our children and our nation,
it is the least we can do.
Goals 2000 provides resources to states
and communities to develop and implement comprehensive education
reforms aimed at helping all students reach challenging academic
and occupational skill standards.
The Goals 2000: Educate America Act is
not an experiment; it incorporates the lessons of education reform
from communities and states in the 1980s.
- Raising standards and making course content
more challenging really works. When more is expected of students,they
work harder and achieve more. When employees know what skills
they need to succeed on the job, they will work to achieve them.
- We must change our expectations of teachers.
They cannot teach to new standards using the same old ways. We
must overhaul teacher training and make continuing professional
development an integral part of their job.
- Accountability is essential. Schools must
be given the tools and the flexibility they need to get the job
done and then be held accountable for the results they achieve.
There must be real rewards for high performance and significant
consequences for failure.
- Schools can't do the job alone. Parents,
businesses, families, community organizations and public and
private agencies that provide health care, counseling, family
support and other social services must be part of community-wide
efforts to support students.
- All children in America will start school
ready to learn.
- The objectives for this goal are that...All
children will have access to high-quality and developmentally
appropriate preschool programs that help prepare children for
school. Every parent in the United States will be a child's first
teacher and devote time each day to helping such parent's preschool
child learn and parents will have access to the training and
support parents need. Children will receive the nutrition, physical
activity experiences and health care needed to arrive at school
with healthy minds and bodies, and to maintain the mental alertness
necessary to be prepared to learn, and the number of low-birth
weight babies will be significantly reduced through enhanced
prenatal health systems.
- The high school graduation rate will increase
to at least 90 percent.
The objectives for this goal are that...The
Nation must dramatically reduce its school dropout rate, and
75 percent of the students who do drop out will successfully
complete a high school degree or its equivalent; and the gap
in high school graduation rates between American students from
minority backgrounds and their non-minority counterparts will
- All students will leave grades 4, 8 and
12 having demonstrated competency over challenging subject matter
including English, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics
and government, economics, the arts, history and geography, and
every school in America will ensure that all students learn to
use their minds well, so they may be prepared for responsible
citizenship, further learning and productive employment in our
nation's modern economy.
The objectives for this goal are that...The
academic performance of all students at the elementary and secondary
level will increase significantly in every quartile, and the
distribution of minority students in each quartile will more
closely reflect the student population as a whole. The percentage
of all students who demonstrate the ability to reason, solve
problems, apply knowledge and write and communicate effectively
will increase substantially.
All students will be involved in activities
that promote and demonstrate good citizenship, good health, community
service and personal responsibility. All students will have access
to physical education and health education to ensure they are
healthy and fit. The percentage of all students who are competent
in more than one language will substantially increase. All students
will be knowledgeable about the diverse cultural heritage of
this Nation and about the world community.
- United States students will be first in
the world in mathematics and science achievement.
The objectives for this goal are that...Mathematics
and science education, including the metric system of measurement,
will be strengthened throughout the system, especially in the
early grades. The number of teachers with a substantive background
in mathematics and science, including the metric system of measurement,
will increase by 50 percent. The number of United States undergraduate
and graduate students, especially women and minorities, who complete
degrees in mathematics, science and engineering will increase
- Every adult American will be literate
and will possess the knowledge and skills necessary to compete
in a global economy and exercise the rights and responsibilities
The objectives for this goal are that...Every
major American business will be involved in strengthening the
connection between education and work. All workers will have
the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills, from basic
to highly technical, needed to adapt to emerging new technologies,
work methods and markets through public and private educational,
vocational, technical, workplace or other programs. The number
of quality programs, including those at libraries, that are designed
to serve more effectively the needs of the growing number of
part-time and mid-career students will increase substantially.
The proportion of the qualified students, especially minorities,
who enter college, who complete at least two years and who complete
their degree programs will increase substantially. The proportion
of college graduates who demonstrate an advanced ability to think
critically, communicate effectively and solve problems will increase
substantially. Schools, in implementing comprehensive parent
involvement programs, will offer more adult literacy, parent
training and life-long learning opportunities to improve the
ties between home and school, and enhance parents' work and home
- Every school in the United States will
be free of drugs, violence and the unauthorized presence of firearms
and alcohol and will offer a disciplined environment conducive
The objectives for this goal are that...Every
school will implement a firm and fair policy on use, possession
and distribution of drugs and alcohol. Parents, businesses, governmental
and community organizations will work together to ensure the
rights of students to study in a safe and secure environment
that is free of drugs and crime, and that schools provide a healthy
environment and are a safe haven for all children. Every local
educational agency will develop and implement a policy to ensure
that all schools are free of violence and the unauthorized presence
of weapons. Every local educational agency will develop a sequential,
comprehensive kindergarten through twelfth grade drug and alcohol
prevention education program. Drug and alcohol curriculum should
be taught as an integral part of sequential, comprehensive health
Community-based teams should be organized
to provide students and teachers with needed support. Every school
should work to eliminate sexual harassment.
- The nation's teaching force will have
access to programs for the continued improvement of their professional
skills and the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills
needed to instruct and prepare all American students for the
next century. The objectives for this goal are that...All teachers
will have access to pre-service teacher education and continuing
professional development activities that will provide such teachers
with the knowledge and skills needed to teach to an increasingly
diverse student population with a variety of educational, social
and health needs. All teachers will have continuing opportunities
to acquire additional knowledge and skills needed to teach challenging
subject matter and to use emerging new methods, forms of assessment
and technologies. States and school districts will create integrated
strategies to attract, recruit, prepare, retrain and support
the continued professional development of teachers, administrators
and other educators, so that there is a highly talented work
force of professional educators to teach challenging subject
Partnerships will be established, whenever
possible, among local educational agencies, institutions of higher
education, parents and local labor, business and professional
associations to provide and support programs for the professional
development of educators.
- Every school will promote partnerships
that will increase parental involvement and participation in
promoting the social, emotional and academic growth of children.
The objectives for this Goal are that...Every State will develop
policies to assist local schools and local educational agencies
to establish programs for increasing partnerships that respond
to the varying needs of parents and the home, including parents
of children who are disadvantaged or bilingual, or parents of
children with disabilities. Every school will actively engage
parents and families in a partnership which supports the academic
work of children at home and shared educational decision making
Parents and families will help to ensure
that schools are adequately supported and will hold schools and
teachers to high standards of accountability.
Goals 2000 Funding
Only weeks after enactment, the U.S. Education
Department invited states to apply for first-year funding under
the new Goals 2000: Educate America Act. Legislation made $86.5
million available to states in 1994 to begin developing school
improvement plans. An additional $5 million was made available
to develop plans to use state-of-the-art technology to enhance
teaching and learning. The President has asked for $700 million
in his 1995 budget proposal to be administered by the Department
of Education and $12 million for the Department of Labor to support
the National Skill Standards Board. The administration expects
to seek $1 billion in 1996.
- For first-year funding, state educational
agencies (SEAs) will be asked to submit an application that will
describe the process by which the state will develop a school
improvement plan and how the SEA will use the funds received,
including how the SEA will make subgrants to local educational
agencies (LEAs) and awards for education pre-service programs
and professional development.
- In year one, SEAs will use at least 60
percent of the allotted funds to award subgrants to LEAs for
the development or implementation of local improvement plans,
and to make awards for education pre-service programs and professional
- In succeeding years, at least 90 percent
of each state's funds are to be used to make subgrants for the
implementation of the state and local improvement plans and to
support educator pre-service and professional development.
- In year one, LEAs will use at least 75
percent of the funds they receive to support individual school
After year one, LEAs will pass through
at least 85 percent of the funds to schools. The state improvement
plans will address, among other things:
- a process for development or adopting
content standards and performance standards for what students
should know and be able to do in core subjects;
- a process for developing and using valid,
non-discriminatory and reliable assessment;
- standards or strategies for ensuring that
all students have a fair opportunity to achieve to the established
- strategies for assisting school-aged children
who have dropped out of school;
- strategies for coordinating Goals 2000
efforts with other programs such as the new School-to-Work Opportunities
Act and the Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education
- strategies for involving parents and the
community in planning, designing and implementing the plan.
"Goals 2000 creates an unprecedented
opportunity for all Americans to contribute their ideas and energy
to make schools work for kids," Riley said. "The states
will be seeking ways to reach out and promote bottom-up reform."
In developing an improvement plan, states
will establish a broad-based reform panel, with members appointed
by the governor and the chief state school officer. If a state
has already made substantial progress in developing a comprehensive
and systemic improvement plan with an existing panel, the secretary
may elect to recognize that existing group. The application deadline
is June 30, 1995. States are encouraged to submit their applications
as soon as possible. A state's award amount is calculated under
a formula based on previous allocations under Chapter 1 and Chapter
2 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Any funds not
requested by states will be reallocated among states with approved
In the first year that it participates
in Goals 2000, a state will be required to pass at least 60 percent
of its funds to local educational agencies (LEAs), which will
develop or refine local improvement plans and work with higher
education or other organizations to improve teacher training
and professional development. In succeeding years, at least 90
percent of funds a state receives under the program must pass
through to local agencies.
The simple four-page application asks states
to describe how improvement plans will be developed, including
milestones, products and timelines. States also are asked to
provide descriptions of how subgrants will be made to LEAs and
how plans to increase the use of technology will be developed.
A budget, describing how funds will be spent, and a signed assurance
of compliance with applicable federal laws complete the applications.
Goals 2000 is related to other federal
education programs in the following ways:
- State participation in all aspects of
Goals 2000 is voluntary, and is not a precondition for participation
in other Federal programs.
- Goals 2000 is the first step toward making
the Federal government a supportive partner in state and local
systemic reforms aimed at helping all children reach higher standards.
- Other new and existing education and training
programs will fit within the Goals 2000 framework of challenging
academic and occupational standards, systemic reform, and flexibility
at the state and local levels. The aim is to promote greater
coherence among Federal programs and between Federal programs
and state and local education reforms.
- For example, the School-to-Work Opportunities
Act will support state and local efforts to build a school-to-work
transition system that will help youth acquire the knowledge,
skills, abilities and labor-market information they need to make
a smooth transition from school to career-oriented work and to
further education and training. Students in these programs will
be expected to meet the same academic standards states establish
under Goals 2000 and will earn portable, industry-recognized
skill certificates that are benchmarked to high-quality standards
such as the skill standards that will be established under Goals
- Similarly, the Administration's proposed
reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act
of 1965 (ESEA) allows states that have developed standards and
assessments under Goals 2000 to use them for the ESEA, thereby
providing a single set of standards and assessments for states
to use for their reform needs and to meet Federal requirements.
- In the future, the Administration's proposals
for the reauthorization of education programs also will fit within
the same framework of challenging standards and comprehensive
Preparing Students for the High-Wage Jobs
Skill Standards: What They Are and Why We Need Them
Many Americans are not equipped with the
academic and occupational skills that an increasingly complex
job market requires. Often, they do not find stable, career-track
jobs for five to ten years after leaving high school. The cost
to them, to businesses and to the American economy is staggering.
American students, workers, employers and
educators must be aware of the knowledge and skills that the
workplace of today and of the future will demand of them. The
Goals 2000: Educate America Act encourages the development and
adoption of a system of skill standards and certification of
an individual's attainment of such standards. Skill standards
identify the specific knowledge, skill and ability levels needed
to perform a given job in a given industry.
With a system of skill standards in place,
these groups will benefit:
- Students in education and training programs
will know what skills are needed for high-wage employment and
they can earn a credential that is portable and recognizable
by employees and demonstrates they have acquired such skills.
- Employers and businesses will have reliable
information to assist in evaluating workers' skill levels in
making hiring and training decisions. This is especially important
for small and medium-sized businesses that cannot afford to develop
their own skill assessment systems.
- Training providers and educators will
be accountable for the services they provide because there will
be a method in place to evaluate whether the participants or
students have attained skills that are relevant to the demands
of the workplace.
- Unemployed Americans can seek retraining
with the confidence that the skills they gain will lead to new
- Labor organizations can better determine
which skills and training are vital to their members' employment
Skill Standards and the Goals 2000: Educate
Goals 2000 contains two major components
- a system for helping states and localities establish high,
voluntary academic standards, and a system to support business,
labor, educators and the public in the development of occupational
skill standards. The two are inextricably linked. A new generation
of workers - those prepared for high-skill, high-wage jobs -
will emerge from a restructured American education system that
produces workers firmly grounded in core academic subjects and
equipped with skills that are in demand in today's labor market.
To further these goals, the legislation
establishes a National Skill Standards Board to encourage and
assist partnerships in developing and adopting standards that
are relevant to industry. The partnerships - including broad-based
representation from business, labor and education - would actually
develop the standards. The Board's function would be to provide
financial and technical assistance in the development of the
standards and to endorse standards that meet objective criteria.
Standards endorsed by the Board would be linked to the highest
international standards and would promote the transition to high-performance
Through the development of broadly defined
skill standards, the U.S. will be able to set goals for skill
achievement, competencies and performance that will help create
a lifelong learning system for all Americans and will drive our
nation's economic growth into the next century and beyond.
How the New Voluntary National Education
Standards Will Improve Education
When we think about how to improve our
schools, one of the most important questions is: What do we want
our children to know and be able to do?
Not everyone leaves school with the skills
and knowledge necessary to succeed. Too many of this nation's
schools offer students watered-down curricula, inadequate textbooks
and outmoded teaching methods. And we have, until now, often
gauged student achievement by the number of courses taken - not
actual learning - and by scores on multiple-choice tests that
often measure little more than low-level skills.
The results of international assessments
in the 1980s and 1990s show that the skills and knowledge of
American students do not measure up to their international peers.
Other developed countries have something we don't: clearly defined
American students can learn more if they
are challenged - both in school and at home. If students and
schools are not held to high standards, they will not work hard
enough and achieve as much as they can. If their parents don't
show them the importance of learning, they may not have the will
What National Standards Are and How They're
The voluntary national standards will describe
what all students should know and be able to do at certain grade
levels. The standards will encourage students to use their minds
well, to solve problems, to think and to reason.
Voluntary national standards will provide
a focus, not a national curriculum; a national consensus, not
federal mandates; voluntary adoption, not mandatory use; and
dynamic, not static, applications.
Mathematics standards are already in use
in many classrooms. Standards in science, history, civics and
government, geography, English, economics, foreign languages
and the arts are now being developed by teachers and scholars.
The input of state and local leaders, parents and citizens is
also being sought.
The voluntary national standards are meant
to be a resource to be used by parents, teachers and all citizens
as one guide to high standards. They can be used by schools,
districts and states to guide and revise curricula, assessments,
teacher preparation and instruction. All of the elements should
be aligned so that everyone and everything involved in education
work together to help students learn more.
National standards do not have to be in
place before states and communities can begin to develop their
own standards. Indeed, some states have already introduced high
standards into their classrooms. States and communities can develop
their own standards or modify and adopt those developed under
Under the Goals 2000: Educate America Act,
federal funds will flow to states and communities to help them
develop their own rigorous standards and implement their own
programs of school reform to help their students achieve the
- Higher expectations for all students.
High standards and enriched course content produce better student
performance. All students can learn more than we currently ask
of them. When we expect more of students, they work harder and
- New approaches to teaching. Helping students
meet challenging standards requires new ways of teaching. Teacher
preparation and professional development programs need to be
overhauled and improved.
- Making schools accountable We need to
give schools the tools and flexibility to do their job, and then
hold them responsible for results.
- Building partnerships. We've learned that
schools can't do it alone. Parents, educators, students, business,
labor and public, private and nonprofit groups need to be active
partners in the reform effort.
- Supports the development of challenging
voluntary academic standards that define what students should
know and be able to do and offers states and local communities
the support they need to put those higher standards to work in
- Encourages the development of a new generation
of student performance assessments and new methods of gauging
student achievement that will be linked to national, state and
local standards and which will be valid, reliable and free of
- Supports the creation of voluntary national
occupational standards that, with the help of business and labor,
will define the knowledge and skills needed for the complex,
high-wage jobs of tomorrow.
- Supports a "bottom-up," grassroots
approach to school reform, with the federal government assisting
states and local communities in the development and implementation
of their own comprehensive and innovative reform programs.
A New Federal, State, and Local Partnership...
- Each participating state and community
will develop and implement a comprehensive improvement plan that
raises standards and helps students achieve them. A broad-based
leadership team composed of policy makers, educators, business
and civic leaders, parents and others will help create each reform
plan. States may adopt national content and performance standards
or they may develop their own.
- Federal funds will be provided to support
state and local improvement efforts. By the second year of funding,
90 percent of the money will flow to local schools and districts
to support their reform plans.
- Supports the establishment of parent information
and resource centers, in order to help provide parents with the
knowledge and skills needed to effectively participate in their
The New National Partnership for Educational
The bill encourages a bottom-up approach
to reform. States and local communities will develop their own
improvement plans, tailored to their special needs. Business
and labor will work together to define the knowledge and skills
needed to create secure economic futures for employees and employers
alike. The federal government will use its resources to assist
local reform efforts and help them implement their improvement
plans and will support the development of model standards against
which states, communities, schools and individuals can measure
The Federal Role - Setting High Standards
A National Education Standards and Improvement
Council (NESIC), comprised of teachers, parents, business groups,
civic leaders and others, will be created to:
- Review the efforts by national organizations
of subject-matter experts to develop voluntary national content
and performance standards in each subject area, such as math,
science, history and geography. These will be clear statements
of what students should know and be able to do as they progress
through school. The standards will be far more rigorous than
what is currently expected of students and will be as challenging
as those in other countries.
- Lead the effort to develop better measures
of student progress and performance, measures that really reflect
what we expect them to learn. New and promising assessment programs
are being developed throughout the country; NESIC will keep track
of changes and encourage those that advance the state of the
The State Role - Implementing Comprehensive
Strategies for Real Improvement
Each state choosing to participate will
be asked to develop and implement a comprehensive improvement
plan that raises standards and helps all students achieve them.
Many states have already begun this work, though few have undertaken
anything as ambitious as called for in this legislation. Every
state will be challenged to participate and to build on local
reforms already under way.
- States will be asked to form a broad-based
and representative leadership team, comprised of policy makers,
educators, business and civic leaders, parents and others at
the grassroots level. Real and lasting change requires new partnerships
- Many states will want to use the national
standards as a benchmark for their own efforts. On a voluntary
basis, states may submit to NESIC their content and performance
standards for certification that they are as rigorous and challenging
as national standards.
- In no state can all students meet challenging
new standards as the schools currently operate. A fundamental
overhaul is required. States will develop comprehensive reform
plans and implementation strategies that will affect every aspect
of the state's education system - curriculum, technology, teacher
training and licensure, parental and community involvement, school
management and accountability.
The Local Role - Putting Reform into Action
To make a difference, reform has to occur
in every school. Local school districts and individual schools
also will develop and implement comprehensive improvement plans,
reflecting unique local needs and circumstances, in conjunction
with the state's efforts.
For the first year, $105 million in federal
funds is available to implement Goals 2000 with additional funds
requested in subsequent years. By the second year of funding,
states will be required to use at least 90 percent of their funds
to support the development and implementation of reform plans
in local school districts.
Creating A World-Class Work Force
American students, workers, employers and
educators must know what knowledge and skills are required in
the workplace. The bill encourages the development and voluntary
adoption of national skill standards and certification. This
effort is a critical step in establishing a lifelong learning
system for all Americans, including high school students not
planning to attend a four-year college, unemployed and dislocated
workers and employed workers who want to upgrade their skills.
The standards will allow us to build an education and training
system that ties schools, colleges and other postsecondary institutions,
other job training providers and employers together in an effort
to create a high-skills, high-wage work force.
Research evaluation and dissemination.
Further research should not focus on whether the technology is
as good as traditional face-to-face courses which has been established.
What is needed is better and more compelling research.
Chu and Schramm (1967) stated that the
effectiveness of television had been demonstrated in well over
100 experiments and that adults learn a great amount from instructional
television. In 1977, after reviewing over 300 studies, Schramm
also concluded that there was no significant difference between
learning in classroom and television; this was again validated
by Johnston (1987). Levine (1987) argues that the conclusion
to draw from these studies is that television instruction is
equivalent to traditional, classroom instruction in its learning;
there are "good and bad television courses as there are
good and bad campus-based courses" (p.16). The question
is on what basis should one separate good and bad telecourses?
Bates (1974) observes that this type of
research proves nothing and has been totally useless. He believes
that the weakness in this research has been that the variables
of content taught and styles of teaching have not been controlled;
as a result, differences cannot be attributed to one medium over
another. The main weakness of comparative studies is that they
do not help producers or teachers to improve the product since
they do not tell what is wrong or what can be done about it (Bates,1974).
We know very little about how to use television
and how to support students in their use of television (Bates,
1974). The educational use of technology cannot reach its full
potential until research uncovers more about the learning process
and how it varies in each individual with different instructional
treatment (Costello & Gordon, 1961; Saettler, 1979). For
years, investigators have attempted to identify those media best
suited to teaching various instructional objectives. The research
has not yielded results that permit definitive statements about
the superiority of one medium over another in a particular situation
(Chu & Schramm, 1967; Schramm, 1977).
The pattern of research results obtained
may have come about for a variety of reasons. In many studies,
two media are used to present instruction and the relative effectiveness
of the two are compared. Often, students learn equally well from
either medium (Chu & Schramm, 1967). Kumata (1961) contends
that hundreds of studies have attempted to discover an effect
which is directly attributable to the delivery method; most conclude
that it makes no difference whether television is absent or present.
Wagner and Wishon (1987) state that media
research has not been able to provide concrete selection guidance
and that research designs have decreased the ability to generalize
the findings. Research has focused on the media as a product
rather than on component interaction, or processual aspects which
lead to learning outcomes. Others, believe that the findings
reflect the situation and it does not matter which medium one
chooses to teach a particular objective, as any can do the job
equally well. Gagne states that "most instructional functions
can be performed by most media" (1970, p. 364) but the statement
in no way denies that in a given situation one medium may be
more useful than others (Schramm, 1977).
There is a need to address issues of access
in selecting technology. How should an institution choose between
using a high technology "leading edge" media and one
which is "low tech." By addressing the issue of access,
an institution will be able to make the choice that provides
access and maintains "open-ness" for its students.
Media research does not provide a clear
direction, as it does not address the question of how media components
of a course interact to produce learning outcomes where there
are differences in learners, instructional treatments and content.
Mayor and Dirr reflect that we need to
realize the demands that all of these changes place on learners
to function independently. It is too easy to say, "Here,
work on your own and integrate the materials at hand" (1986,
p. 101). Mayor and Dirr assert that ways must be found to prepare
students for the challenges that the new opportunities provide.
To earn faculty support, we must demonstrate how to use the new
tools and materials to serve them and their students by improving
telecourse quality and making education accessible (Mayor &
Withrow (1992) reports that evaluation
from the Star Schools Program indicate that distance learning
students enrolled in high school courses function slightly better
than students in traditional classes. One reason may be that
students who choose such courses are higher risk takers and more
self-directed than the average student.
To be effective, distance education teachers
report that they must change their style and create new opportunities
for interaction (OTA, 1989). While reaching a small number of
teachers today, distance learning will greatly affect the teaching
force of tomorrow. Distance learning provides a variety of tools
for teaching and a means to upgrade teachers' skills and encourage
Teachers can team teach with colleagues
across town or across the country, discuss problems and challenges
over electronic networks, observe master teachers in action,
participate in professional meetings and courses, develop new
skills and earn advanced degrees - all without leaving their
home school. Teachers must have training, preparation, and institutional
support to successfully teach with distance learning technologies.
Their concerns about technology and the quality of instruction
must be taken into consideration in planning distance learning
efforts. Teacher input not only shapes development, it assures
Adoption of the Innovation of Distance
Historically and currently, there has been
little emphasis by educators on how to plan for, prepare, evaluate
and utilize media. In the past, most university staff have been
suspicious about technology and seem apathetic toward and unaware
of the potential of the more sophisticated devices. Insights,
wisdom, perception and precision applied in the process of media
selection are an index of professionalism among educators.
Even though the greatest technological
revolution of this era is considered to be information, educators
seem oblivious to the potential as well as to the impact on their
field. Knowles (1983) predicts that by the end of this century
most education will be delivered electronically - if educators
learn to use media in congruence with adult learning principles.
Moore and Shannon's 1982 study of adult educators supports Knowles
and reveals the adult educators' media inexperience.
Media technology has soared ahead of utilization.
While media experts are using increasingly sophisticated technology,
the fact is ignored that the teacher is bewildered by technology
and still does not know how to use it.
Chu and Schramm (1967) found that instructional
technology required instructors to learn new roles and processes
which they tend to resist because they perceive difficulties
in using new techniques. Russell (1979) and Coder (1983) found
that faculty tend to teach by lecture as they were taught, not
as they were taught to teach by using media. Coder (1983) found
that due to a lack of courses, faculty were unfamiliar with learning
theory, instructional design or media utilization, a fact supported
by Doerken (1977) who states that studies indicted that only
17 percent of all teachers had any training in the use of media.
In 1983, Doerken reported that it would
take an estimated $400 million to provide training. During the
1984-85 Annenberg Study (Riccobono, 1986) about half of the institutions
offered faculty only two to seven hours of training in media
but ten to 15 hours of training in the instructional uses of
computers. The figures did not report how many faculty members
were trained. Bates (1987b) observes that there is a major requirement
to train instructors in the selection and use of media. Brey's
1991 study reported that opposition by faculty, administrators
and boards of trustees is not an important impediment to starting
programs; the cost of starting programs was the most often reported
obstacle by community colleges.
Lack of training in the use of educational
technology has also been a problem in Japan (Nishimoto, 1969)
and in Britain (1966). The lack of training in the effective
use of educational technology and the tendency of faculty members
to continue to teach by lecture contributed to technology resistance
in these countries. Studies in Japan (Nishimoto, 1969) and in
Great Britain (Britain, 1966) concluded that the effectiveness
of education can be improved by training the teacher to use technology.
Tanzman and Dunn (1971) state that media supervisors do not provide
the leadership to encourage faculty to use media and that in-service
training in effective media use has not resulted in skill transfer
because; 1) media techniques vary markedly from the way teachers
have been taught; 2) mechanical fear; 3) lack of professional
acceptance; 4) lack of funding for media experts; and 5) decision
makers' resistance to technology primarily due to a lack of understanding
of its use and value.
There is still a pressing need to train
them in media selection and utilization. There is a need to help
faculty utilize media so that learners are central to the process;
mastering the technology will take time and commitment.
Unwin (1969) states that the faculty's
function is to organize learning situations and interpret them
after students experience them through technology. Faculty who
are untrained in media selection do not effectively plan media
use or ways to support instructional objectives. Only a few instructors
in a thousand are now equipped to do this. Educators have had
little practical help with purposeful selection. During the evaluation
and adoption process the judgment of the effectiveness of media
is too frequently based upon general impressions, isolated praise
or criticisms, personal hunches, intuition, imitation, comfort
with the media or its availability . It is vital that adopters
be aware of the importance of evaluation and develop evaluation
skills since sophisticated instructional demands dictate that
judicious use replace hit-or-miss selection. Kressel (1986) questions
how educators are to know which packages to select for which
students or how to select packages adaptable to their teaching
Lewis' (1985) study of faculty involved
with instructional media identified problems of how to: 1) convey
abstract concepts and relationships between abstract concepts
and concrete experience; 2) motivate students and encourage active
learning; 3) deal with learning differences; 4) encourage generic
skill and ability development; and 5) obtain funds to train faculty.
Faculty consider media appropriate to address the most difficult
instructional problems, but also value course management, student
contact and providing experiential learning (Lewis, 1985). He
reports that faculty who used technology more were likely to
agree that it can overcome instructional problems and are less
bothered by obstacles that frustrate untrained colleagues. Faculty
identified lack of training, funds, access to hardware, and lack
of descriptive and evaluative software information as obstacles
to effective use of technology (Lewis, 1985).
If the use of media and technology is to
be increased, educators must learn how to reach educational goals
and objectives through the media (Meierhenry, 1981). A 1979 EPIE
study found that fewer than five percent of teacher training
institutions surveyed offered courses in the selection of teaching
materials. Hezel(1987) assumes that the most effective uses of
technology will be made by faculty members who understand its
potential, and strongly recommends that telecourse adoption should
be preceded by educational technology seminars for faculty and
education administrators. Henault (1971) recommends that training
for adult educators be extensive while others suggest that instruction
should include video production.
Methods to train instructors in media selection
and use include in-service professional development provided
by qualified media center personnel or qualified distance education
specialists. Research found that teachers need guidance in interaction
and learning style skills (Lane, 1989). In many cases the production
team will also need to be trained so that curriculum and instructional
design is not foreign to them. Distance education program administrators
will also need to be trained so they can create the appropriate
support systems for students and faculty (Lane, 1989). Other
methods include publishing a newsletter to share information
about instructional technology, viewing tapes on effective media
use, reading about and observing the media, and visits to production
houses. Teague (1981) recommends instructor training in the basic
dynamics of learning, student motivation, adequacy of teaching
techniques and timing of learning tasks.
Sive (1978) notes that few writers have
analyzed what makes a workable selection tool. She observes that
existing selection procedures may be among the factors causing
the second class status of media as the purchases are made without
the benefit of a thoughtful reviewing process (1983). For media
to be instructional rather than supplemental aids to instruction,
more sophisticated media selection procedures are indicated.
Sive (1978) observes that methods to find out about media do
not exist such as those for books; most media is not reviewed
or rated for its suitability for use for a specific purpose;
telecourse reviews receive significantly less space than educational
computer programs and only a fraction of non-book media reviews;
library catalogs and bibliographic tools such as Books in Print
do not exist for media; there is little comparison of new and
existing products; and cross-media approaches are unknown where
two products on the same subject are compared. The end point
of what can be done when television is combined with other media
has not yet been reached; this is the beginning of an educational
revolution involving many forms of telecommunications (Hewitt,
No instrument for evaluation will totally
ensure that every resource used will be a positive learning experience
for every user (Teague, 1981), however, using a model and an
evaluating instrument based upon the model will help ensure the
selection of resources that will make genuine contributions to
Two national studies were conduced to develop
a model and evaluation criteria for distance education materials
and teleconferencing (Lane, 1989, 1990) are discussed elsewhere.
The models and evaluation instruments take into consideration
how the material will function with all of its elements, the
institution's services, the instructor's skills, and the target
population. Both instruments serve as a bridge to inform and
train distance education staff in aspects of distance education
which are relevant to course adoption or program purchase.
The evaluation forms will: 1) ensure that
selection committee members evaluate the same items and use the
same scale for judgments; 2) guide adopters through the selection
phase so that components are evaluated with the goal of student
learning clearly focused; and 3) act as a training instrument
for adopters who frequently do not have a media background and
are not media selection experts (Lane, 1989).
The instrument trains the evaluator in
media selection skills as components are evaluated and enables
the evaluator to make an informed decision to adopt or reject
the material after the instrument is completed. The instruments
are valuable aids in achieving consistency in previewing and
are usable by instructors, administrators, production team members,
teleconference producers and their clients, as well as others
in electronically mediated instruction fields. The instruments
standardize evaluation and the models sets standards of excellence
for distance education, teleconferencing and electronically mediated
As the cited literature suggests, the message
that an evaluation method should be used has been regularly repeated
since the inception of the telecourse. With hundreds of telecourses
and 350,000 pieces of instructional media available, choosing
suitable material is a problem.
from "A Technical
Guide to Teleconferencing and Distance Learning," 3rd edition