State Standards & Opportunity to Learn in New Jersey


  • William A. Firestone et al Rutgers University
  • Gregory Camili Rutgers University
  • Michelle Yurecko Rutgers University
  • Lora Monfils Rutgers University
  • David Mayrowetz Rutgers University



Educational Change, Educational Finance, Elementary School Teachers, Intermediate Grades, Mathematics, Professional Development, Sciences, State Standards, Teacher Surveys


A survey of 245 New Jersey teachers provides a baseline for examining how the introduction of state standards and assessments affects the teaching of math and science in the 4th grade. These policies are promoting teaching of additional topics in both areas. The changes in the delivery of professional development have not yet been sufficient to lead to substantial changes in instructional practice. While inequities in access to material that characterized the state in the early 1990s have diminished, we find a pattern of inquiry-oriented science teaching more prevalent in wealthy districts and teaching to the test more prevalent in poorer ones. We also note some areas where middle-income districts appear disadvantaged.


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Author Biographies

William A. Firestone et al, Rutgers University

William A. Firestone is Professor of Educational Policy; Chair of the Department of Educational Theory, Policy, and Administration and Director of the Center for Educational Policy Analysis. His research on the effects of both testing and professional development on teachers has appeared in the American Educational Research Journal, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, and Kappan. His most recent book is From Cashbox to Classroom: School Finance Reform and Educational Change in New Jersey (with Margaret E. Goertz and Gary Natriello).

Gregory Camili, Rutgers University

Gregory Camilli is Professor, Department of Educational Psychology, at the Rutgers Graduate School of Education. His areas of research interest include psychometric issues in educational policy, meta- analysis, and differential item functioning. Dr. Camilli is a member of the editorial Boards of Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, Educational Policy Analysis Archives, and Educational Review. He is a regular reviewer for Applied Measurement in Education, Journal of Educational Measurement, Psychometrika, and Psychological Methods, among others. As a member of the Technical Advisory Committee of the New Jersey Basic Skills Assessment Council, he provides expertise on testing and measurement issues to the state's assessment program.

Michelle Yurecko, Rutgers University

Michelle Yurecko, a Ph.D. candidate in Educational Psychology and a research associate at the Center for Educational Policy Analysis. She is a statistician and focuses on educational testing and measurement.

Lora Monfils, Rutgers University

Lora Monfils, a doctoral candidate in Educational Statistics and Measurement, is a research associate at the Center for Educational Policy Analysis and a mathematics educator. Her research interests concern large-scale assessment and modeling differential educational outcomes.

David Mayrowetz, Rutgers University

David Mayrowetz is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Educational Theory, Policy and Administration, Rutgers University. His interests include policy implementation, inclusion of students with disabilities, and assessment reform. He is the co-author, with William Firestone of "Rethinking "High Stakes:" Lessons from the US and England and Wales" (Teachers College Record, forthcoming) and with Carol Weinstein, of "Sources of Leadership for Inclusive Education: Creating Schools for All Children" (Educational Administration Quarterly, September 1999). He will be joining the Policy Studies faculty of the University of Illinois at Chicago in January 2001.




How to Cite

Firestone et al, W. A., Camili, G., Yurecko, M., Monfils, L., & Mayrowetz, D. (2000). State Standards & Opportunity to Learn in New Jersey. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 8, 35.