Using Standards Internationally

Because of their importance as the basis for major reform of early development and education services, early learning standards have gained much currency internationally and domestically.  While much is known, little is documented regarding precisely how standards are being used.  To have this information is essential as it provides the basis for the implementation of the standards, preventing them from being merely “shelf” documents.  Documentation of such implementation efforts can also provide those around the world who are interested in applying their standards with concrete examples and contacts.

In the United States, where standards are on the cusp of diverse implementation strategies, having a serious analysis of the use of standards in diverse countries was deemed essential by the Council of Chief State School Officers.  With funding and guidance from them, the NCCF embarked on an ambitious analysis of how 14 countries around the world use their standards.  Protocols were developed, phone contacts were made, case studies were written and reviewed, and a compendium of uses was created.  With detailed information from key informants, the document provides a clear overview of the importance of standards, their diverse uses, and the challenges and benefits of bringing written standards to reality.  The document ends with an analysis of the state of the art around early learning and development standards and makes recommendations for their future.

Funding Source: Council of Chief State School Officers.

Contact: Sharon Lynn Kagan, Ed.D.