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Asia in California: Educational Standards

January 1, 2007

Unlike many countries, the United States does not have a government mandated curriculum, nor mandatory performance or content standards or assessment. As late as 1996, only fourteen of the fifty states had state performance or content standards. Now only Iowa lacks such standards. In 1995, the California state legislature ordered the drafting of state performance and content standards. The state board of education has adopted these discipline by discipline. California's standards are considered among the most demanding in the country. The Los Angeles Times quoted Diane Ravitch, a leading scholar on education trends, as saying, "Right now, they're the best in the country. First of all, they are clear. They tell teachers what they should be teaching, and students what they're expected to learn" (Los Angeles Times, Nov. 18, 1998).

Unfortunately, barely half of California's public school teachers say they are "very familiar with the content of the standards." And fewer still are prepared to deliver instruction geared to helping their students meet these standards (California Educator, Nov. 1999).

Through our teacher training efforts (the summer institute and our school site programs), the USC U.S.-China Institute's K-12 outreach program equips teachers to help their students meet many of the skill and content standards.

These standards web pages provide information about:
History Standards Relating to Asia
History Standards Relating to China
History Standards Relating to Japan
Language Arts Standards that can include Asian Materials
World History Standards (National Center for History in the Schools)
World History Standards Relating to Japan