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EconKids Home Research No. 2007-02. Cross-State Variation in Economics Content Standards in the Primary Grades

No. 2007-02. Cross-State Variation in Economics Content Standards in the Primary Grades

EconKids Working Paper No. 2007-02

"Cross-State Variation in Economics Content Standards in the Primary Grades"
By Yana Rodgers, Shelby Hawthorne, and Ronald Wheeler.

Abstract:  In the wake of the Goals 2000 Educate America Act of 1994 and the creation of a national set of content standards in economics with fourth grade benchmarks, almost all states have adopted content standards in economics beginning with kindergarten.  Our study conducts a close evaluation of all the economics concepts and principles specified in state standards for the primary grades according to degrees of completeness and specificity.  Our state-by-state review indicates that states across the country exhibit a wide variation in the types of economics standards they have implemented. This variation means that teachers across the nation face very different bars in terms of the level at which they are expected to teach economics.  Results further suggest that states with more complete standards are more likely to have grade-level breakdowns, while states with less complete standards tend to have economics standards defined by grade clusters.  We also argue that more assessments are needed to gauge the suitability of the state standards in the early grades.

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Published as:
Rodgers, Yana, Shelby Hawthorne, and Ronald Wheeler, "Cross-State Variation in Economics Content Standards in the Primary Grades," Social Education 72 (2), March 2008, 88-94.