Critics assail standards-based education in two fronts – content and implementation. For instance, Hamilton et al. (2002, p. 27) argued that in standards-based curriculum development, there is a difficulty in deciding how many performance levels should be created, what method should be used to set those levels, how high they should be set, and what they should be called. Also, a number of research educators and students themselves disagree with the policy of passing a rigorous test just to get a high school diploma. There are also those who criticize the implementing agency of being vague as to the academic content and with being lax with schools in terms of following standards. (Cizek 2001, p. 418) Certainly, good arguments are also coming from similar sectors stressing the expectation from all students to perform in the same way since the fact is, there are ordinary students and there are academically talented ones.
The former name of standards-based education is outcome-based education. This is not without reason because this system focuses on achieving optimum learning outcome and the performance of students. I believe this is essentially what education is all about.
This example shows how standards-based education offers the most impact because it allows the students to explore on their own, creating learning opportunities where theories are applied in the process. Learning is more rigorous and the methodologies employed are more strategic in terms of meeting students’ learning needs. It is in my opinion that students receive and retain more learning content in this process due to the environment and the standard.
Another point about standards-based curriculum is the fact that it works within the premise that education requires continuous improvement. So where in the traditionalist setting the grade of A is the same today and tomorrow, students in standards-based education must pass a test that is benchmarked 10 years from