About Schooling

Schooling is the process of imparting knowledge and skills to individuals through curriculum and instruction, experiential learning, and work-based learning. Effective schooling provides individuals with the necessary tools to become productive citizens, pursue higher education and lifelong learning, engage in meaningful employment, and work toward achieving their life goals.

Under the No Child Left Behind Act, all students are required to participate in assessments and accountability systems in order to ensure that (a) schools are held accountable for students’ access to the general education curriculum, (b) schools hold high expectations for all students, and (c) student achievement is improved (National Center on Secondary Education and Transition, 2004).

Conditions that promote positive schooling experiences are supported when all students “have access to challenging curriculum and their educational programs are based on high expectations that acknowledge each student’s potential and ultimate contribution to society” (Nolet & McLaughlin, 2000, p. 2). All youth need to participate in educational programs grounded in standards and clear performance expectations and graduate from high school with a diploma that serves as a credential for accessing further education and employment opportunities.

Schools promote student learning when they:

Exemplary schools consider the needs of all youth and implement academic and non-academic courses and programs of study that help all youth achieve successful postschool outcomes such as postsecondary education and training, employment, and civic engagement.

Works Cited

National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (2004). Current challenges facing secondary education and transition services for youth with disabilities in the United States. Retrieved January 19, 2006, from University of Minnesota, National Center on Secondary Education and Transition Web site:

Nolet, V., & McLaughlin, M. J. (2000). Accessing the general curriculum: Including students with disabilities in standards-based reform. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

National Standards & Quality Indicators

Below are the specific Schooling standards and indicators. See also Introduction to the National Standards & Quality Indicators.

1.1 State Education Agencies (SEAs)/Local Education Agencies (LEAs) provide youth with equitable access to a full range of academic and non-academic courses and programs of study.
See Supporting Evidence & Research

  • 1.1.1 Youth are aware of and have access to the full range of those secondary education curricula and programs, including those designed to help them achieve state and/or district academic and related standards and meet admission requirements for postsecondary education.
  • 1.1.2 SEAs/LEAs provide youth with information about the full range of postsecondary options and encourage youth to participate in secondary courses that will enable them to meet the admission requirements of their chosen postsecondary program of study.
  • 1.1.3 Youth are aware of and have access to work-based learning (programs that connect classroom curriculum to learning on job sites in the community), service-learning (programs that combine meaningful community service with academic growth, personal growth, and civic responsibility), and career preparatory experiences such as job shadowing and informational interviewing.
  • 1.1.4 Each youth develops and begins to implement an individual life plan based on his or her interests, abilities, and goals.
  • 1.1.5 SEAs/LEAs use universally designed and culturally competent curriculum materials (e.g., assignments, tests, textbooks, etc.) that are accessible and relevant to the widest possible range of youth.
  • 1.1.6 Youth are aware of and have access to technology resources that enhance learning.
  • 1.1.7 SEAs/LEAs integrate advising and counseling into the education program of every youth and ensure that supports are readily available to enable each youth to successfully complete secondary school and enter postsecondary education or other chosen postschool options.

1.2 SEAs/LEAs use appropriate standards to assess individual student achievement and learning.
See Supporting Evidence & Research

  • 1.2.1 All youth participate in large-scale assessment and accountability systems that are universally designed, and have access to appropriate accommodations and alternate assessments.
  • 1.2.2 Youth have access to appropriate accommodations and multiple assessment strategies.
  • 1.2.3 SEAs/LEAs use assessment and accountability systems reflecting standards that prepare graduates for successful postsecondary education experiences, meaningful employment, and civic engagement.
  • 1.2.4 SEAs/LEAs use assessment results to improve instruction and implement appropriate educational plans for each youth.
  • 1.2.5 SEAs/LEAs use assessments that are not culturally biased.

1.3 SEAs/LEAs systematically collect data on school completion rates and postschool outcomes and use these data to plan improvements in educational and postschool programs and services.
See Supporting Evidence & Research

  • 1.3.1 Data are disaggregated and reported in clear and relevant language for the intended audiences.
  • 1.3.2 Data and resulting reports are widely disseminated throughout the education community—to policymakers, school board members, school administrators, parent groups, postsecondary educators, public and private school educators, and the community.
  • 1.3.3 SEAs/LEAs use reliable and valid instruments and data collection strategies.
  • 1.3.4 Graduation and postschool outcomes data are used to evaluate current programs and services and to make recommendations for future programs and services linked to positive postschool outcomes.

1.4 SEAs/LEAs offer educators, families, and community representatives regular opportunities for ongoing skill development, education, and training in planning for positive postschool outcomes for all youth.
See Supporting Evidence & Research

  • 1.4.1 Administrators, principals, educators, and paraprofessionals meet the essential qualifications to perform their jobs.
  • 1.4.2 Staff development programs are based on careful analysis of data about the school and student achievement, and are evaluated to measure their effectiveness in improving teaching practices and increasing student achievement.
  • 1.4.3 School leadership teams include educators, families, and community representatives as active members.
  • 1.4.4 Students have the opportunity to participate in all meetings in which decisions may be made concerning their individual school and postschool plans.
  • 1.4.5 Educators, families, and youth receive training on using data for planning and informed decision-making.

1.5 SEAs/LEAs establish and implement high school graduation standards, options, and decisions that are based on meaningful measures of student achievement and learning.
See Supporting Evidence & Research

  • 1.5.1 State and local assessments linked to high school graduation use measures of student achievement and learning that are valid and reliable and allow for accommodations and modifications as appropriate.
  • 1.5.2 Allowable accommodations and modifications, and the circumstances in which they may be used, are clearly defined for state and local assessments.
  • 1.5.3 School staff members are provided training on determining and implementing appropriate accommodations and on determining eligibility for alternate assessments.
  • 1.5.4 Educators, families, and youth are aware of and have access to information about the possible ramifications of completing alternate assessments.
  • 1.5.5 Educators, families, and youth are counseled on how the choice of diploma options may affect postschool options.

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