• Identify the key concepts you intend to investigate in your dissertation.
• Identify any relationship you plan to examine between or among the concepts.
• Name the target population of interest.
The research question seeks to identify the causes and reasons why education standards in the
US are on average more costly than in other parts of the world yet the standards are declining
while the performance is below the countries whose average budgets are far below the costs in
The education standards in the US are lower compared to other regions globally. The major
concerned is that, despite the government’s commitments in providing more resources to
promote quality education the standards are not improving infact they may be still declining.
Education Standards in US
This research paper seeks to examine the existing standards of education in the US as
represented by the Wisconsin State; also it seeks to identify other methods that may be
contributing to the low standards of education including the assessment methods and the status of
funding available for the schools (Bradley, 2010). The study has been prompted by the large
number of companies that are moving out their industrial and manufacturing plants to other
regions outside the US in search of cheaper and affordable labor that is more efficient and
According to the findings of The Atlantic (2013) education standards in the US are lower
compared to the rest of the world. The performance of American pupils at elementary levels in
mathematics and science are mostly low and were ranked at number 17 by the OECD
international rankings among the 34 entrants in mathematics while in other subjects like science,
the US was ranked at number 21 (Ryan, 2013). It is still debatable whether the declining
performances is largely related to inadequate assessment methods or if the methods used to
assess the pupils are ineffective. One issue however remains very clear; the performance of
American children is lower than the global average. Merrifield (2009) illustrates the performance
of grade 4 pupils from Wisconsin are regrettably below average in table 1 found on the second
page of the research document.
The assessments that are based on performance were designed to evaluate the
performance of all pupils and where the weak pupils would be identified earlier and the remedial
classes instituted to allow the weak pupils to improve.
Education reforms have concentrated on pupil assessment on standardized tests which lay more
emphasis on memorization skills than on critical thinking. The overall performances standards
do not demonstrate abilities of the pupils but instead only provide performance comparisons
between the pupils and other schools (Sekaram & Bougle, 2009).
The federal 2001 Act of the No Child Left Behind requires all the states in the US to implement
standardized tests that would reveal the performance of pupils in all states based on the standards
of particular states. The critics of the criterion referenced standard tests argue that the tests may
be arbitrary and emphasis is placed largely on passing rather than good average performance on
overall academic progress. The introduction of assessment tests was directed towards the
provision of better standards of evaluating the overall abilities of pupils and it also involved the
alternative assessment on complex reasoning together with problem solving skills.
The Wisconsin Student Association System (WSAS) provided a forum for students to
demonstrate their abilities and progress in particular academic standards like mathematics,
social studies and sciences. The Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examination (WKCE)
provided criterion based referenced tests that were also utilized to evaluate pupil performance in
Education Standards in US 3
a bid to provide more flexibility in examination procedures. The funding of education in
Wisconsin state increased tremendously in 2009 compared with the other years and it shows
that the highest budget of the funds is spent on administration and printing of reports.
The research topic is mainly the causes for the failing standards of education in US. The funding
and the assessments methods could be contributing to the problem but major issues
surrounding declining education performance have to be researched. Clear analysis of pupil
backgrounds, races and neighborhoods has to be factored when making conclusions.
Education Standards in US
Bradley, N. (2010) Marketing Research. Tools and Techniques, Oxford University Press,
Merrifield, L. (2009) Pupil Assessment, Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau, Informational Paper 32
Ryan, J. (2013) American Schools vs. the World: Expensive, Unequal, Bad at Math, The
Atlantic, December Issue
Sekaram, U. & Bougle, R. (2009) Research Methods for Business; A Skill Building Approach, 5 th
Edition. West Sussex, UK. John Wiley & sons.