Whether the US Government Should Continue Its High Military Expenditure Analysis

User Generated




Unformatted Attachment Preview

The Nagorno-Karabakh Region An Evaluation of the Conflict Between Armenia and Azerbaijan Author: Institution: Colorado State University Contact: 2 Table of Contents: Introduction --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 4 Overview of Positions ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 5 Side A - Armenia and Its Ties to Nagorno-Karabakh ----------------------------------------- 6 Side B - Azerbaijan and Its Ties to Nagorno-Karabakh -------------------------------------- 7 Conclusion ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 9 Recommendation -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 11 References ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 13 Appendix ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 16 A - Armenian and Azerbaijani Casualties Since 2015 (excluding the 2-11 April 2016 escalation) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------16 3 List of Illustrations: Figure 1: A map of current territorial holdings in Nagorno-Karabakh (Economist) ----------4 Figure 2: A pie graph of religion in Armenia (Central Intelligence Agency) ------------------6 Figure 3: Percentage of Armenian and Azerbaijan population in Soviet Karabakh (Karabakh Facts) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 7 Figure 4: Azerbaijan religious affiliation (Encyclopedia Britannica) --------------------------- 8 Figure 5: Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh Cities and Districts (Nations Online Project) 11 4 Introduction: The region of Nagorno-Karabakh lies in the South Caucasus of West Asia. Nagorno-Karabakh was given to Azerbaijan during the building of the Soviet Union (BBC). While the region remained part of Azerbaijan following the fall of the Soviet Union, the majority population in the Nagorno-Karabakh is ethnic Armenian (BBC). As the Soviet Union was slowly crumbling, fighting was already occurring in the region starting in the 1980s between the Armenians and Azerbaijanis (BBC). In 1991, the region voted to become an independent, while this was contested by the Azerbejani government and heightened fighting, a ceasefire agreement was signed in 1994 (BBC). The agreement never actually created an official peace agreement and still left the control of the de facto independent state with the ethnic Amernians (BBC). Since 1994, both Azerbaijan and Armenia have broken the ceasefire agreement created between the two, with minor infractions or fighting occurring (BBC). The Amenian population has been referring to the region as “Artsakh”, which is an ancient Armenian way of saying “area”. This is important for the region as it has become dominated and governed by solely ethnic Armenians for twenty-six years (BBC). The bubbling conflict between the two exploded 5 in September of 2020 when Azerberjani forces made their way into territory surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh, capturing areas lost in the previous war and advancing into the region itself (BBC). Since September 30th, there have been more than 100 confirmed civilian deaths from Armenia and an unknown amount from Azerbaijan as they do not release that information (Broers). What has separated the recent outburst of fighting from the previous infractions of the peace agreement is the increased use in heavy artillery, tanks, missiles, and even drones (Broers). This is one of the reasons for the increased amount of civilian deaths over the past month. While minor fighting has occurred since the late 1990s, the recent increase in fighting has shown no signs of slowing down or ending anytime soon. Given the increased severity of the fighting and no sign of it ending, it is important to evaluate both Armenia and Azerberjan’s ties to the territory. While disputed territories are incredibly delicate topics, it is important to analyze the historical, cultural, and economic ties each state has to the region to make a final decision on the territory's future. As a junior studying history and geography at Colorado State University, I have experience in understanding the different aspects of disputed territories and I am well-educated to investigate both players' roles in the conflict. This report will examine the two states' sides on the Nagorno-Karabakh region, discuss the cultural, historical, and economic views from each country, create a conclusion based on my research, and offer a recommendation for how to move forward with the region's status. Officially, this report will recommend that the region of Nagorno-Karabakh, currently being governed by ethnic Armenians, should be granted to the state of Armenia. Overview of the Positions: 6 The region of Nagorno-Karabakh is a disputed territory with Armenia on one side claiming it to be an Ethnic Amernian region and Azerbaijan on the other side claiming that it is rightfully their territory. Much of the conflict is rooted in economic and historical ties to the region. The analysis of the two sides will begin with Armenia. The strong ties Armenia has to the region go back to many historical decisions made for the Armenians, unwanted, and wanted. Their historical ties go hand in hand with their cultural ties to the territory as well. Following the analysis of Armenia and its position in the conflict, Azerbaijan’s take on the conflict will be examined. Most of the Azerbaijani ties to the territory comes from politcal and nationalistic reasons that will be discussed in further detail. Side A: Armenia and its ties to Nagorno-Karabakh: Armenia is a Christian country surrounded by many Islamic states. The region of Nagorno-Karabakh is 90% ethnic Christian Armenians populating nearly 20% of Azerbaijani, a muslim state’s territory (Ward). Armenia has deep Christian roots as it is one of the first Christian civilizations (BBC). The obvious religious differences have seperated Armenia from many of its surrounding Muslim nations as tensions between the two religions have spuratically increased and decreased since early civilizations. For many Armenians, Nagorno-Karabakh is home to their early Christian roots which is vital to their culture (Kramer). The ethnic Armenians that currently reside in Nagorno-Karabakh view 7 Azerbaijan as an “existential threat” to their culture and home that they have inhabited for years now (Ward). During the fall of the Ottoman Empire, hundreds of thousands of Armenians were expelled from Turkey in what is now recognized by many as a genocide (BBC). This is important to the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh because Azerbaijan, who currently owns the territory, is a country of Turkish descent. Azerbaijan has gone even as far as to describe the relationship between Turkey and Azerbaijan as “One nation, two states,” (BBC). Ethnic conflict between the two escalated even more in February of 1988 when young Azeris attacked ethnic Armenians in the region and scared others to leave (Cheterian). What at first seemed like a political conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh has quickly turned into a ethnic divide between two neighboring communities. For Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh is not just a piece of territory to add to their state, but Nagorno-Karabakh is already one nation with Armenia and adding the territory to Armenia is only fair to the ethnic population that already resides there. In a way, the territory is also a way to make amends for the atrocities that the Turks committed on the ethnic Armenians during World War I. Side B: Azerbaijan and its ties to Nagorno-Karabakh: 8 Azerbaijan is a prodomitantly Muslim Turkish Azeris who have populated the region since World War I. Following the Nagorno-Karabakh War from 1992-1994, Armenians had captured most of Nagorno-Karabakh and controlled/partially-controlled seven of the surrounding districts (International Crisis Group). The end of this war forced over a million people from Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Nagorno-Karabakh to flee their homes (International Crisis Group). Hundreds of thousands of Azerberjanis were forced from their homes in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh back to Azerbaijan where they were considered internationally displaced persons (BBC). The displacement of so many Azerbaijanis fueled nationalistic views amongst the people of Azerbaijan following the first Nagorno-Karabakh War. For many Azerbaijanis the territory taken by the Armenians was a complete violation of their territorial integrity (Gasparyan). For leaders in Azerbaijan, the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh is so much more than just a fight for territory. The growing nationalism that was created after the first Nagorno-Karabakh War has helped distract the everyday citizen from the massive amount of corruption currently in the Azeri government (Gasparyan). The Aliyev Dynasty has ruled over Azerbaijan since its separation from the Soviet Union and is accused of many forms of corruption such as; money laundering, theft, bribery, and skimming of state’s coffers (money the government has to spend) (Gasparyan). The corruption in Azerbaijan has reached such an extreme that the current leader of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, was named “Man of the Year in Organized Crime and Corruption” in 2012 by the 9 Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (Gasparyan). Arsen Gasparyan, who works for the University of Southern California International Relations, said it best when he reported, “The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict allows entrenched autocracy in Baku to divert all the outrage and energy of its population towards Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh and away from the plundering, injustice, and repressions by the ruling elites.” Conclusion: The conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh is a delicate issue to discuss because of the strong religious and ethnic backgrounds for each nation involved. Even with the strong views from both Armenia and Azerbaijan, there is a clear historic background for the Armenian population in Nagorno-Karabakh (Kramer). While there has been a minority population of Azeris in the region, the historical and current evidence of the self-governed Armenian population that has been a clear majority of the population cannot be ignored (BBC). It cannot be ignored that the region of Nagorno-Karabakh is a significant part of the Azerbaijani territory, but the region has been self-governed since the establishment of Azerbaijan as a country (BBC). While Azerbaijan appears to be losing such a significant part of their territory, it can be argued that since the territory has never been controlled by the Azeri government the loss is not necessarily a political loss, but a loss of pride for Azerbaijan. With the Azeri government pushing this strong nationalism within the state, a loss of this size of territory is a threat to the power the current regime holds over its people. The pride and power the Aliyev dynasty has should not determine the future for over a hundred-thousand ethnic Armenians who have been governing themselves for years. 10 The demographics of Nagorno-Karabakh is another significant aspect of why the disputed territory is unique. Prior to Armenia and Azerbaijan’s unification with the Soviet Union, the region was already significantly dominated by Armenians and when the territory was granted to Azerbaijan from Stalin after entering the Soviet Union, there was no consideration for the population that already existed in the region (BBC). As stated previously, Nagorno-Karabakh under the Soviet Union was not of any significant concern for Azerbaijan or Armenia because the region functioned as the de facto independent state the world saw prior (Kramer). With the fall of the Soviet Union, the immediate break out of the first Nagorno-Karabakh war was due to the lack of consideration about religion and ethnic divides in the region from Stalin in the early years of the Soviet Union (Cheterian). The lack of consideration for ethnic differences in dividing states by Stalin can be seen across the Soviet Union, but what is unique to the Nagorno-Karabakh region is the clear demographic difference in the region versus Azerbaijan (Cheterian). Nagorno-Karabakh was over 90% ethnic Armenian prior to the joining the Soviet Union and numbers only decreased as Azerbaijanis entered the region following the decision granting it to Azerbaijan (BBC). The introduction of Nagorno-Karabakh as an Azerbaijani territory was made without any deliberation of the territory itself. This decision, in which the region had no say in, sparked an unnecessarily conflict that has spiraled into a point of what appears like no return. Due to the obvious Armenian historical ties to Nagorno-Karabakh, the consistent self-governing, and the lack of valid political ties from Azerbaijan, I conclude that it is best to return the majority Armenian populated regions of Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia. The research I have conducted over the Nagorno-Karabakh region is important for studying the relations of Azerbaijan and Armenia in the future because in the research, I was able 11 to further understand the Azerbaijani side being presented as one reason, strong nationalistic ties. Upon further digging though, I was able to conclude that the strong nationalism created in Azerbaijan was to hide flaws in the political system in Azerbaijan. This is not only important for studying the region of Nagorno-Karabakh but other disputed regions or territorial disagreements because one side in a conflict could be hiding behind the conflict itself. It also proves the importance of extensive research in these delicate situations because so many lives are at stake and decisions being made will have major ramification on these populations. This report does not address in depth the outside forces that are at play during the current increase in conflict. Russia, Turkey, and Iran all have influence and power within the region currently on both sides. While their involvement is important for the region, their importance comes from each other as relations between these states are unsteady. Turkey’s involvement in the current outburst has significantly changed the course of fighting, but does not dismiss the obvious background in the conflict (Broers). These states are significant powerhouses globally, but their involvement in the region’s fighting should not deteriorate from the reason for the conflict in the first place. Further research could be made to understand why these states are getting involved to the extent they are to better understand the geopolitical significance of the region. Recommendation: Armenian forces currently hold a significant part of the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven of the surrounding districts. Support for reunification with Armenia would be heavily protested by many of the Azeris due to escalated nationalism in 12 Azerbaijan. The only way to create the most peaceful transition of territory requires dignified discussions between both Armenia and Azerbaijan, strong support from the international community, as well as significant support from those in the regions under transition. The entire region occupied by Armenia currently should not be all granted to Armenia. The seven surrounding districts that are currently occupied by Armenia should be released to Azerbaijan as the territories are not significant to the Armenian population, but government assistance from both sides will be required to support the current population in these districts. Territories east of Stepanakert (the current capital of the Nagorno-Karabakh) with a ethnic Armenian population of less than 55% of the region should be returned to Azerbaijan with assistance from both governments as well to assist the population. All territories west of Stepanakert should be granted to Armenia with assistance coming from the Armenian government to assist in the financial relocation of any Azeri who wishes to relocate following the change in territory, and Azerbaijan government assisting in the social and political aspects of relocation. Significant financial support will need to come from Armenia to make the transition as smooth as possible due to the fact that they will be gaining a majority of the territory. Significant international support will also be necessary for the moral aspect of the transition and financially if the U.N. can continue to support those displaced in the conflict. Peacekeepers will also need to be deployed to the regions affected by the transition of territory as there still remains a strong ethnic divide between the two populations. As a whole, the transition of Nagorno-Karabakh territory will be fiercely contested by those on both sides. It is important for the citizens to be aware of the casualties this conflict has continued to bring both sides for decades now so they can understand that the transition of 13 territory is to save lives and protect culture. The situation in Nagorno-Karabakh is delicate, but significant support and assistance over the following years will be important for the future of the South Caucasus and the millions of people who reside there. References: BBC. “Armenia-Azerbaijan: Why did Nagorno-Karabakh spark a conflict?” BBC, BBC, 12 11 2020, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-54324772. Accessed 14 11 2020. BBC. “Armenia country profile.” BBC, BBC, 18 11 2020, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-17398605. Accessed 19 11 2020. BBC. “Nagorno-Karabakh profile.” BBC, BBC, 18 11 2020, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-18270325. Accessed 20 11 2020. Broers, Laurence. “Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict: Why Caucasus flare-up risks wider war.” BBC, BBC, 30 9 2020, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-54356336. Accessed 19 11 2020. Cheterian, Vicken. “The Uses and Abuses of History: Genocide and the Making of the Karabakh Conflict.” Europe-Asia Studies, vol. 70, no. 6, Aug. 2018, pp. 884–903. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/09668136.2018.1489634. “Demographics Statistics in Nagorno-Karabakh during the Soviet Azerbaijani Rule: Karabakh Facts: A Comprehensive Database of Documents on Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict, Its History and Peace Process.” Karabakh Facts | A Comprehensive Database of Documents on Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict, Its History and Peace Process, Karabakh Facts , 26 Apr. 14 2019, karabakhfacts.com/demographics-statistics-in-nagorno-karabakh-during-the-soviet-azerb aijani-rule/. Gasparyan, Arsen. “Understanding the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict: Domestic Politics and Twenty-Five Years of Fruitless Negotiations 1994–2018.” Caucasus Survey, vol. 7, no. 3, Nov. 2019, pp. 235–250. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/23761199.2019.1674114. International Crisis Group. “The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict: A Visual Explainer.” International Crisis Group, International Crisis Group, 26 10 2020, https://www.crisisgroup.org/content/nagorno-karabakh-conflict-visual-explainer. Accessed 19 11 2020. Kramer, Andrew E. “Armenia and Azerbaijan: What Sparked War and Will Peace Prevail?” New York Times, New York Times, 19 11 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/article/armenian-azerbaijan-conflict.html. Accessed 19 11 2020. “Map of Armenia.” Nations Online Project, 2020, www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/map/armenia_map.htm. “Religion in Azerbaijan .” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2020, www.britannica.com/place/Azerbaijan/People. “The World Factbook: Armenia.” Central Intelligence Agency, Central Intelligence Agency, 1 Feb. 15 2018, www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/am.html. The Fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh Reflects Decades of Conflict. 29 Oct. 2020, www.economist.com/europe/2020/10/29/the-fighting-in-nagorno-karabakh-reflects-decad es-of-conflict. U.S. Office of the Historian. “A Guide to the United States’ History of Recognition, Diplomatic, and Consular Relations, by Country, since 1776: Armenia.” Office of the Historian, 2020, https://history.state.gov/countries/armenia. Accessed 19 11 2020. Ward, Alex. “The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, explained.” Vox News, Vox, 7 10 2020, https://www.vox.com/21502327/armenia-azerbaijan-nagorno-karabakh-war-explained. Accessed 19 11 2020. 16 Appendix: A- Armenian and Azerbaijani Casualties Since 2015 (excluding the 2-11 April 2016 escalation) (International Crisis Group): 17 The Comparison of Benefits from Human or Ecological Focused River Restorations Include full name, contact information (at least email), and CSU departmental affiliation on the title page. Table of Contents List of Illustrations ................................................................................................................................... I Introduction............................................................................................................................................. 1 Goals for River Restoration ................................................................................................................. 1 Side A ..................................................................................................................................................... 2 Far from Original................................................................................................................................. 3 Support of the Community................................................................................................................... 4 Side B ..................................................................................................................................................... 5 The Need of Natural Restoration.......................................................................................................... 5 Exclusive to Inclusive .......................................................................................................................... 6 Conclusion .............................................................................................................................................. 7 Limitations .......................................................................................................................................... 8 Recommendation..................................................................................................................................... 9 Back Matter......................................................................................................................................... 153 References ....................................................................................................................................... 153 Appendix......................................................................................................................................... 175 Definitions................................................................................................................................... 175 River Restoration Principles......................................................................................................... 176 List of Illustrations Figure 1: Before and after restoration on the Mayes Brook stream…………………………….....4 Figure 2: Restoration goals and methods………………………………………………….............6 Figure 3: Before and after restoration on the Cheonggyecheon river………………………….….8 Figure 4: Key restoration principles in the UK……………………………………………….….13 Introduction Goals for River Restoration In today’s society, water conservation is becoming more of an apparent thing. Along with conservation, there come projects to help water sources longevity, but with different focuses, there are different impacts. River restoration projects generally have two different overarching goals. The differences are whether the restoration is being conducted to benefit humans and consider their interactions with the resource or to focus projects on the natural ecosystems of the water source and its natural flow. When focusing on human needs, river restoration allows for the creation of an urban green space where people can recreate and feel a sense of social cohesion (“Healthy rivers”). On the contrary, when helping cultivate natural flows of a waterway, the natural ecosystems can thrive and can be more sustainable during water influxes and other river processes that humans have attempted to control (Palmer, “Linkage between”). The need to understand the differences between the two goals means identifying what will be the most beneficial and sustainable for the source over time. Considering what to focus a river restoration project on can lead to the improvement of other aspects of water, such as conservation, the purity of water, and what it can be used for and how to educate others on the impacts of the restoration. This is not only a concern for restoration managers but also for the general public. Informing the public allows them to gain the knowledge and understanding that water resources are vulnerable and should be maintained with good intentions. Conducting a river restoration project is costly financially and ecologically. To do any construction to a natural site, there will be lasting effects, negative or positive. Due to these circumstances’ restoration crews must be confident in their work and have some support in whether the project will be overall beneficial or detrimental. By having a true goal for the restoration project, construction will have a stronger structured plan. Planning out projects to please a certain goal can bring more awareness to the project, therefore, making the restoration more successful. As mentioned before, restorations can be intended to benefit two different factors. As society progresses, there have been shifts in the mentality that the environment works for us, so in some cases, restoration projects are conducted to fulfill human needs and are constructed with intentions of how humans will use the source. While considering the claims humans seem to have over natural resources, there is also the side of honoring the true ecological flow of the source. The environment has a natural ability to sustain itself, but with countless times of interference to their processes, water sources have become damaged, moving further away from their balanced functions. Restoring rivers to a more natural state creating an environment where the ecosystem instinctively returns to a stable functioning state allows for the source to endure the test of time. With research still being conducted on how to standardize the measurements of the success of restoration projects, data for the success is still relatively new. After looking over case studies and other research data of what creates sustainable restoration projects, it turns out the inevitable relation humans have with our environment is constantly developing and changing. For modern restoration projects, society needs to see the benefits of the restoration, so, in the long run, there is constant support and preservation of the waterways. That being said restoration projects should start focusing their efforts on how humans may benefit and, therefor, protect restoration projects. Side A River restoration projects must declare their goal early on, whether it be constructing projects to return the site to its natural function or to consider human interactions. The first side to be discussed is focusing on projects that have to do with human interactions and relations with the proposed restoration. To proceed with a project focusing on how humans will gain from a restoration means gearing the project towards predicting how people will see the newly restored site in ways of recreation, social cohesion, and how it appeals to the aesthetic. Considering all of these different aspects, it causes a spark of interest, giving space for an educational aspect, teaching those about the need to preserve (“Healthy rivers”). Giving more credit to what humans will gain from a restoration project also includes new outdoor amenities and possibilities to more green spaces in an urban setting. Society driven restorations, in the end, have the main purpose of increasing citizen use in hopes to increase education about how the project is a necessity. Far from Original With so much progression in society, there have been claims that restoring natural environments to what some refer to as a pre-industrial state is realistically impossible now due to the major impacts of worldwide construction (Dufour, 569). Humans have been changing the environment with many different practices such as agriculture, raising livestock, woodcutting, irrigation, transportation, and many other societal uses for some gain (Dufour, 570). Interactions with water sources have been modifying the ecosystem for quite some time, truly changing the environment in ways that the former most pristine state of the ecosystem is no longer known and is only referenced in terms of how humans have changed it. For this reason, many have begun to support the mentality that restorations should be conducted, focusing on the functionality of the water source. Focusing on how restoration will benefit humans refers to the control of the source. Such as controlling floods and monitoring the purity of the water by designing projects to help protect from agricultural runoff entering streams and to create a sense of protection against chemical dumping and other leakages of harmful material into the water. By creating rivers for human benefit, a new green space becomes a part of building filled cities. Green spaces in cities lead to things such as improved air and water quality, as well as increased quality of life for natural spaces brings a sense of tranquility to busy lives (“Case Study: Cheonggyecheon”). Support of the Community While all of this is seemingly positive for the source, it takes many individual parts for this type of restoration to be successful. Support for these types of projects must come from society. Different groups must come together to understand and protect these modifications. Education for the community about how important these projects are is crucial for the success of urban restorations. Having community understanding may allow for the restoration to thrive, but the ecosystem may not develop to be independently self-maintaining (Dufour, 577). Although the system may need more support and continual check-ups restoring with human involvement in mind, projects may have longer success constantly evolving alongside the continuous building of society. In the United Kingdom, there have been several restoration projects with continuous study after the construction of the new waterway. The stream Mayes Brook in north-east London was flowing near a newly built park but was inaccessible due to fencing and unstable flooding surfaces. When a restoration project was proposed, it aimed to create a more multifunctional landscape that benefited people and created flood storage for the city (Addy et al., 36). Figure 1. The Mayes Brook stream before (let) and after (right) restoration in an urban setting. (Addy et al., 36). After the restoration was complete other improvements such as renovating the park, creating interpretative displays, and generating educational opportunities for the public to learn about the natural environment and climate change were implemented (Addy et al., 36). The success of this restoration showed that old engineering approaches to restoration could be alternatively achieved by prioritizing the public. The ones involved in this project claim its success is from the total engagement of the public. Figure 1 shows the Mayes Brook stream before and after restoration. Side B The other side of ecological restorations is to restore rivers and streams to as natural of a state as possible. Returning a river to a more natural state means supporting an increase in biodiversity, water quality, channel stability, in-stream, and around stream habitats (Palmer, “Ecological Restoration”). Rivers restored to their native functionality are successful in terms of being able to react to natural influxes such as drought and floods properly. River ecosystems are very fragile and have been damaged by human actions over time. By restoring rivers, more environmental benefits come from the project, such as creating a green space to help mitigate heat island effect in cities, a more effective flood control landscape, and a self-sustaining ecosystem. Over time humans have altered river habitats for commercial uses and have consequently destroyed biodiversity (Palmer, Allan). Early settlers would live in conjunction with sources respecting the influxes, but now humans aim to control these biological processes. The Need of Natural Restoration With all the development of cities and the alterations of waterways, there came the point where water sources became dangerously polluted. People realized this was a serious problem and actions must be taken to preserve the resources. In 1972 the Clean Water Act was passed, putting more regulations and controls on point-source pollutants (Palmer, “Restoring Rivers”). This caused the realization that our water sources were damaged and needed help to continue to function. Research about water corridors became very important as many began to realize the complexity of these ecosystems and their contributions to environmental biodiversity (Palmer, “Linkage between”). By altering stream flows such as damming rivers, a major decrease in biodiversity has resulted. This has created many ecosystem problems such as changing fish habitats, creating unnatural stream flows, which may result in material buildup along stream edges and effects proper flood plain space (Palmer, “Linkage between”). Acknowledging the importance of rivers for overall environmental health has caused many to realize the significance of focusing restorations on improving ecological function. Exclusive to Inclusive A major shift in restoration projects with ecological focuses goes from projects focusing solely on improving the habitat for one specific species to now improving the habitat for the entire ecosystem, integrating all the diverse systems in the restoration site (Smith, 252). Having lost so much diversity in waterways, ecological needs for restoration have arisen. Figure 2 shows a wide array of what ecological restoration projects strive to fulfill. By focusing on creating a better Figure 2. overall environment, things such as The graphs show common restoration goals. (Palmer, “Ecological Restoration”). channel stability, biodiversity, water quality and habitats in and around the stream improve (Palmer, “Ecological Restoration”). By focusing on ecological health restorations have benefited in ways such as creating better habitats for fish and increasing stream stability among riverbanks (Addy et al., 27). Another key benefit to ensuring river health is that it is a major resource for carbon fixation which helps with climate regulation (Addy et al., 27). By helping cultivate a more natural ecosystem, the environment can become more self-proficient, but with the spread of human development, restorations may need to consider human interaction but still incorporate a sense of ecological importance. Conclusion Restoration has historically been defined as the re-establishment of natural physical processes, features, and physical habitats of a river system (Addy et al., vii). While this has been the primary focus for quite some time, the world is constantly changing, and protecting our natural resources now faces new challenges. These new challenges include continuous building in undeveloped natural areas to meet the demand of an increased population, and with all the development environments being altered to the point that the truest original form is no longer known. Yes, restoring places to a self-sustaining natural system is what most conservationists desires, but realistically, it’s not the most sensible solution anymore. Having ecological needs such as biodiversity and a stronger stream structure to manage streamflow is crucial, but with the constant development of human society, it is becoming more important to focus on how humans will interact with river environments. I believe a new shift in implementing more human involvement and knowledge for river restorations in the future for more versatile river health will generate the most success. Creating educational awareness of restoration is huge while considering the long-lasting health of a river. The more people know about preservation; the more successful a restoration will be. Spreading the knowledge that outdoor spaces can be used for mental wellbeing as a natural way to alleviate stress and bring a sense of community, many are expanding into the cohesion of the outdoors (“Healthy rivers”). In Korea along the Cheonggyecheon river a massive ten-lane freeway was removed which lead to many positive outcomes; these outcomes include improved air quality, a reconnection of two parts of the city and increased pedestrian activity along the new daylighted stream with many recreational spaces (“Case Study: Cheonggyecheon”). Figure 3 shows the before and after pictures of the freeway being removed, and the new green space created for the urban environment. Figure 3. The photo above is of Seoul, South Korea and shows the restorations made for the Cheonggyecheon river. (“Case Study: Cheonggyecheon”). While focusing on human interactions with river restorations, subsequently natural ecological environments will improve. It may not be a major scale improvement as if the sole purpose was to increase ecological function, but it will protect the site enough to help these processes develop new norms and adapt to their circumstances. Limitations Limitations in this field of study are the standardization of measuring if restoration projects are successful or not. Since this is still such a new field of study and analyzing success may take a long time allowing the restoration to evolve, there is still room for understanding which focus will yield greater outcomes. Even with these limitations, though, it is reasonable to predict that with increased development, soon, many aspects of the environment will have to implicate human involvement. Recommendation As research continues to determine the success of river restoration projects, it is clear that humans and the environment are not as separate as once thought. In many Indigenous cultures, it is believed that the humans and the earth should live in a respectful balance, with earth’s inhabitants honoring all that we encounter. Having some sense of this relation, we should honor these resources and restore the environment to not only our benefit but to help the ecosystem thrive. Connecting the functionality of rivers with human interactions with the source is crucial to any restoration project. Moving forward with research the inclusion of human interactions and benefits should be integrated into the standard of measuring success. Back Matter References 1. Addy, Stephen, Cooksley, Susan, Dodd, Nikki, et al. “River Restoration and Biodiversity.” National Committee United Kingdom. Published by IUCN NCUK and CREW in 2016. https://portals.iucn.org/library/sites/library/files/documents/2016-064.pdf 2. Dufour, Simon & Piegay, Herve. “From the Myth of a Lost Paradise to Targeted River Restoration: Forget Natural References and Focus on Human Benefits.” Wiley InterScience. Applic. 25: 568-581. Published in 2009. DOI: 10.1002/rra.1239 3. European Centre for River Restoration (ECRR), “Healthy rivers provide a quality environment.” ECRR. http://www.ecrr.org/RiverRestoration/Socialbenefitsofriverrestoration/tabid/2612/Default .aspx 4. Ink, Social. “Case Study: Cheonggyecheon; Seoul, Korea.” Global Designing Cities Initiative. https://globaldesigningcities.org/publication/global-street-designguide/streets/special-conditions/elevated-structure-removal/case-study-cheonggyecheonseoul-korea/ 5. Palmer, Margret & Allan, David. “Restoring Rivers.” Issues in Science and Technology. Vol. XXII, No. 2. Published in 2006. https://issues.org/palmer/ 6. Palmer, Margaret, Hondula, Kelly & Koch, Benjamin. “Ecological Restoration of Streams and Rivers: Shifting Strategies and Shifting Goals.” Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics. Applic. 45: 247-269. Published in 2014. DOI 10.1146/annurev-ecolsys-120213-091935. 7. Palmer, Margaret & Ruhi, Albert. “Linkages between flow regime, biota, and ecosystem processes: Implications for river restoration.” AAAS Science. Vol. 365, Issue 6459. DOI: 10.1126/science.aaw2087. https://science.sciencemag.org/content/365/6459/eaaw2087.full 8. Smith, Benjamin, Clifford J. Nicholas & Mant, Jenny. “The Changing Nature of River Restoration.” WIREs Water. Vol. 1. Pg. 249-261. Published in 2014. DOI: 10.1002/wat2.1021 Appendix Definitions Heat Island Effect A noticeably higher temperature surrounding cities due to things such as air pollutants, dark heat-trapping surfaces, and less vegetated spaces. The temperature is higher compared to surrounding rural areas. Agricultural Run-Off This form of runoff is usually near a farm setting where things such as animal manure, pesticides, antibiotics given to animals, and herbicides may be washed over the land and into water sources that can spread these harmful contaminants and may be hazardous to humans and degrade the environment. River Restoration Principles Figure 4. Principles for river restoration implemented in the UK. (Addy et al., 49). In other countries where restoration has been becoming more objective, there have been principle recommendations for what a should consider in planning and implementing stages. Figure 4 shows the UK river restoration projects are now considering these principles with high importance. (Addy et al., 49). Analyzing the Effectiveness of Standards-Based Education, Including the Implementation of the Common Core Curriculum Eric Paricio Title page should also include contact info. (at least email address, phone number is optional) JTC300-006, Dr. Emily Johnson R30, Katharyn Peterman Paricio 2 Table of Contents List of Illustrations 3 Introduction 4 Overview of sides 5 I. Drawbacks of Common Core and Standards-Based Education 5 II. Benefits of Standards-Based Education 8 Conclusion 10 Recommendation 13 References 15 Appendix – Interview Notes 17 Paricio 3 List of Illustrations Figure 1: Teacher Support for the Common Core 5 Figure 2: American Citizen Support for the Common Core 11 Paricio 4 Introduction The purpose of this report is to conduct and analyze research on the use of standardsbased education as assessment strategies in secondary schooling, particularly high school. The purpose behind standardized education and assessments is to raise the minimum graduation requirements and ensure a minimum graduation achievement level across the country. However, standards-based education, grading, and assessments have impacted the US education system in more profound ways than initially thought. Many teachers do not approve of the current use of standards, but many others do. First introduced in the 1980s, standards-based education was implemented in the United States as a way to make both learning outcomes from schooling and teacher grading more consistent throughout to country (“The Pros and Cons of Standards-Based Education,” 2019). According to a personal interview with high school teachers M. Paricio and C. Paricio, standardized testing is used as a way to ensure students are meeting those standards nationwide, and higher education institutions use these scores to admit students, seeing if they do meet the standards and have the skills to succeed in post-secondary education. However, many secondary teachers do not approve of the current implementation of standards-based education – known as the Common Core curriculum or model – for many reasons, including teacher workload, the focuses of the standards, and the implementation of standardized tests along with these standards. Because of this controversy, this report intends to clarify the need for research in this area by providing context for, describing, and examining both the drawbacks and benefits of the Common Core curriculum and standards-based education. Paricio 5 Overview of Sides I. Drawbacks of Common Core and Standards-Based Education Many teachers do not support the Common Core curriculum model that is currently in place in the American educational system. When it was first idealized in the early 2010s, there was much support across the nation – especially from teachers – for the Common Core model and all the changes that a standards-based education was expected to bring. As can be seen in Figure 1 below, over 70% of teachers supported Common Core in 2012. In the years between 2012 and 2016, support greatly diminished and disapproval spread rapidly. In 2016, there was just over half the support for Common Core as four years earlier, and disapproval had increased by over three times. Specifically, there was sixteen times the amount of strong opposition to Common Core in 2016 as there was in 2012. Figure 1: Statistics for common core support for teachers, years 2012 through 2016. Support has decreased significantly over this time, and strong opposition has also dramatically increased. Numbers for neither support nor oppose have decreased, indicating the polarizing nature of the common core curriculum (Kamanetz, 2016). An important note about this figure as well is that Common Core was implemented in 2015 in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (“Every Student Succeeds Act,” n.d.), so the vast Paricio 6 increase in strong opposition between 2015 and 2016 was likely due to teachers seeing the Common Core curriculum in place. Additionally, much of the increase in strong opposition came from those who were previously neutral, indicating that the implementation of Common Core was polarizing. There are many reasons why the majority of teachers now do not support the Common Core model as it currently stands. One of the primary reasons is that Common Core focuses intensely on graduation and grade-level requirements, but does not aim to prepare students for anything past their secondary education (Paricio and Paricio, 2019). The current standards are almost exclusively used to check off a student’s required content knowledge list, and no more. In this way, students are neither prepared for college nor to enter the work force successfully because they have only ever needed to pass a content test once to ‘prove’ their knowledge. This premise of a standards checklist negates critical thinking, problem solving, and applicable life skills in the classroom. A fallout from this fact is that standards will typically focus only on the lowest necessary level of achievement to pass a certain benchmark. This leaves the average- and high-achieving students with very little encouragement, support, or resources included in the model that drives the successes of their lower-achieving peers. This concept was initially part of the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act, a bottom-up educational approach intended to close the academic gap between the lowest- and highest-achieving students, regardless of race, income, background, and other identities (“Every Student Succeeds Act,” n.d.). However, this philosophy leaves the high-achieving students with no resources or support when they are exactly who will become the leaders of America, businesses, economy, and more. Many teachers take issue that there is not more support to help these students thrive in their education (Paricio and Paricio, 2019. Paricio 7 Because students are only expected to achieve a minimum standard for graduation or progressing through the grade levels, Common Core also does not provide a strong motivation behind student learning. As there is no focus on college or work force preparation but primarily on content knowledge, this model leaves students to wonder why they are learning the material they are in classes. Some teachers do a wonderful job contextualizing the information they teach, but Common Core does not require this of teachers, much less provide them with any tools to help them do so without devoting vast amounts of lesson planning, curriculum development, and unpaid time. Additionally, these standards only focus on the teacher assessing when students have learned the material and not when students feel as though they have learned. Self-reflection, progress monitoring, and self-assessment combine with other critical thinking skills to make up what is known as ‘metacognition,’ a personal tracking mechanism for students to examine their own learning progress. While Common Core allows for both contextualizing learning and metacognition, there are no tools or systems in place to implement either of these concepts in the classroom. Finally, one other drawback of standards-based education is the implementation of standardized assessments. This includes the ACT and SAT college readiness tests, of which nearly every high school student across the country takes at least one. According to M. Muñoz and T. Guskey (2015), any successful standards-based model of education must have three types of criteria: product (content knowledge, or what can be shown on a test), process (how the students obtained their content knowledge, such as commitment, completion grades, and attendance points), and progress (what have students learned since the last session, focus on improvement over time). Standardized tests, however, such as the ACT and SAT, focus only on the product criteria because that is all a single test and score can ever assess. Common Core Paricio 8 places a large focus on these product-oriented content knowledge standards and the standardized tests by which they are assessed. However, because Common Core lacks any significant presence of the other two types of standards, this model does not succeed in creating a successful balanced learning environment and instead only focuses on getting a student to the next level of standards. Ironically enough, A. Harper (2018) found a correlation between a higher use of standards-based grading practices and lower ACT scores. So, the skills that Common Core reinforces and the solutions it attempts to create have actually been declined since the implementation of the Common Core model of standards-based education. II. Benefits of Common Core and Standards-Based Education Although many teachers do not approve of Common Core, there are still many who do. This standards-based education strategy has many potential positive outcomes, the first of which is nation-wide achievement level consistency. In theory, when using standards in the classroom, students from Florida to Alaska to Texas all must meet the same basic graduation requirements, ensuring that a high school graduate from anywhere in the nation is proficient to some standard level (Paricio and Paricio, 2019). This has been one of the benefits of national and international programs, such as Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB). Both AP and IB are high school programs aimed toward high-achieving students and have benchmark tests at the end of the academic year to assess students’ content knowledge for a particular subject. Because of this, a student who receives a certain score on the AP or IB test for any given subject is proficient to a certain extent in that area. Universities across the country can then use these scores to award credit for certain courses when students enter college. The Common Core model aims to meet a similar goal through national standardized tests, like the ACT and SAT, and Paricio 9 ensure that all students meet a specific set of knowledge standards when they finish every grade, all the way through graduating from high school (Paricio and Paricio, 2019). Another advantage of standards-based education – and particularly assessments – is grading becomes less subjective and more meaningful. Without the use of standards, grading is reliant on the teacher’s discretion, especially in assignments with subjectively-assigned grades like essays and presentations. With standards, however, there are specific benchmarks students must reach and exact wording that corresponds to certain grades, making the process as objective as possible. Many teachers use rubrics in their classrooms as a way to indicate standards for different levels of achievements. These rubrics specifically outline levels of achievement and use these standardized levels to objectively assign grades in an otherwise subjective situation. Standards, by nature, eliminate arbitrary grading methods and weighted grading, combining different facets of any grade into a consistent method that can be used across the board (Muñoz and Guskey, 2015). Standards also allow for the opportunity of a growth-mindset approach in the classroom. Growth-mindset means the teacher does not expect students to master the material instantly, just to be a little better and more knowledgeable day after day until their knowledge progressively accumulates to a final whole. Standards are the end goal, but they allow for students to take their time, learning more every day throughout the year. Because there are no progressive benchmarks, teachers can produce their own formative assessments and track students’ progress toward meeting the goals set by standards. There is no penalty for not passing these formative assessments, as they are simply meant to track progress and inform teachers how much students have learned and in which areas they need improvement (Work, 2014). As long as students continue learning and progressing toward their goals, the teacher can keep adapting to students’ Paricio 10 needs and tailor the class directly toward those needs in order to meet the necessary standards by the end of the year/course. This model also allows for reassessment, so students may take certain tests several times until they can prove they have learned the information. Altogether, this allows for a very strong growth-mindset model in the classroom. Together, these facets of standards-based education make for a fairly solid foundation for the Common Core curriculum. When used for these purposes, Common Core provides the opportunity for these incredible impacts to be realized. When combined with teachers putting in a good deal of effort, standards can reinforce positive student behavior and learning with specific end goals and targeted learning. By encouraging objective grading practices, grades become more meaningful to students take on a more consistent significance between not only classrooms but also schools, districts, and states. Conclusion When examining the benefits of standards-based education, there is one theme that appears: standards allow for all these benefits, but they do not directly produce these effects. Teachers must implement standards effectively to bring these positive effects into the classroom. Standards-based education allows teachers to do this and have freedom in how they reach goals in the classroom, which increases teacher creativity. However, many teachers do not put in the time to create lessons that accomplish standards in these ways, meaning the standards often motivate lecture-style classrooms to convey the information students need to learn according to knowledge standards. Additionally, teachers – at least in public schools – do not have the salary to encourage putting in the extra time and effort that is necessary to utilize standards in the useful ways listed in the previous section. This has become a visible issue to the American public and is Paricio 11 one of the driving reasons why overall American support for the Common Core curriculum has decreased from its inception to after its incorporation, as seen below in Figure 2. Initial support for the Common Core model stood at around 90% across the nation when the idea was first conceived to draft a set of nationwide standards in 2012, and this support fell to just 50% four years later (Bleiberg, 2016), a year after Common Core was implemented in the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act (“Every Student Succeeds Act,” n.d.). Figure 1: Statistics for common core support for all Americans in 2012 and 2016. Support for the common core curriculum in the United States greatly diminished from when it was merely an idea to a year after its inception in 2015 (Bleiberg, 2016). The lack of higher achievement standards in the Common Core curriculum is also very noticeable. Rubrics, such as the ones used in the AP and IB programs, that track students’ progress toward an eventual end goal are incredibly valuable tools in the classroom that help students track their own progress using metacognition (Paricio and Paricio, 2019). When students are only ever encouraged to achieve at the lowest necessary level, they are not pushed toward college and/or career readiness. Standards can be a fantastic mechanism to guide creating meaningful rubrics with many levels of achievement, but the Common Core curriculum leaves this effort to the teachers. As mentioned above, many teachers do not have the time, resources, or compensation to justify putting in this effort. This is one of the failures of Common Core in teaching only to the lowest level of achievement. Paricio 12 Additionally, Common Core also does not have a framework by which teachers can incorporate growth-mindset into the classroom. Under Common Core, creating formative assessments, grading these checks, and student self-evaluation and metacognition must be entirely driven by the teacher on their own valuable time. Standards provide a wonderful end goal to work toward, but the current curriculum model does not provide enough support for teachers to apply growth mindset effectively in the classroom without an incredible amount of extra work. Common Core currently just provides the end goals, but it is possible for students to not meet all the end goals of standards. Students either pass or fail each goal, so without sufficient growth-based formative assessments and metacognition on the path to learning each goal, students cannot always see their progress and know if they will or will not achieve the standard. To be effective, Common Core must give an educational outline for progressmonitoring, both by students and teachers, to truly support teachers to integrate growth mindset into the classroom. Finally, according to M. Kamil (2016), the Common Core standards require a more complex understanding for students in their curricula of the same material. Because of this, students have to learn even more and harder concepts, and the teachers must utilize adaptive teaching techniques to meet students at various levels in the classroom (Kamil, 2016). Adaptive teaching requires teachers to not only change their teaching plans and styles to meet the needs and progress of the classroom, but teachers must also adapt to each individual student’s progress, a nearly impossible feat when given sometimes 30 to 40 students in every classroom. Common Core fails here as well, requiring even more from teachers without providing the necessary support to ensure teachers can implement these strategies successfully into the classroom. Paricio 13 Recommendation Standards have a great many potential positive outcomes in the classroom, such as regulating grade level benchmarks, inspiring meaningful and more objective grading, and providing the opportunity for teachers to utilize growth-mindset in the classroom. However, the Common Core curriculum as described in the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act does not give teachers all the necessary tools to implement these strategies effectively into the classroom (“Every Student Succeeds Act,” n.d.). This paper recommends two courses of action be taken to improve the American educational system, integrate standards constructively into the classroom, and motivate teachers to put in the effort to transform the current Common Core into a successful model. The first recommended action is that new nationwide legislation be drafted, outlining a similar set of goals and standards as the current Common Core model, that provides rubrics for multiple levels of achievement in all subject areas, gives mechanisms to include student selfassessment of benchmarks to assist with metacognition throughout every grade level, and supports college- and career-readiness practices. Just as importantly, these standards, rubrics, and benchmarks must be created by committees containing diverse groups of people in the education industry, such as teachers, administrators, and school board members; these committees should primarily be composed of teachers, ranging from young to old, rural to urban, and all other identities. This should be a multi-year process for every subject area, but this long process is necessary to produce strategies for all teachers across the country to incorporate into their classrooms to utilize standards to their full positive effect. Secondly, teacher salary must be drastically increased. For the 2017-2018 school year, the national average starting teacher salary was just over $39,000, with certain states as low as Paricio 14 just over $31,000 (“2017-2018 Average Starting Teacher Salaries,” n.d.). This required many teachers, especially starting teachers, to work a second or third job, leaving them little or no time and energy to effectively plan lessons and curriculum. Additionally, by raising the national starting teacher salary to a very competitive $100,000, especially for civil servants, teaching jobs would be far more competitive, drawing more talent and motivation for Americans to go into teaching and maintain high performance throughout their careers. Combined, these two strategies will attract and retain better teachers, allow those teachers more time to dedicate to their students, and provide better resources for utilizing standards to their full positive effect. The current Common Core model is not good enough, and these two recommendations will drastically improve the national implementation of standards-based education in the United States’ educational industry. Paricio 15 References The Pros and Cons of Standards-Based Education. (2019, July 9). Retrieved October 12, 2019, from https://online.uwsuper.edu/articles/pros-cons-standards-based-education.aspx. Harper, A. (2018, August 22). Converting to a standards-based grading model requires careful planning. Retrieved November 20, 2019, from https://www.educationdive.com/news/converting-to-a-standards-based-grading-modelrequires-careful-planning/530679/. Kamenetz, A. (2016, August 23). Americans Like Their Schools Just Fine - But Not Yours. Retrieved November 8, 2019, from https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/08/23/490380129/americans-like-their-schoolsjust-fine-but-not-yours. Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). (n.d.). Retrieved October 12, 2019, from https://www.ed.gov/essa. M. Paricio and C. Paricio, personal communication, October 11, 2019 Muñoz, M. A., & Guskey, T. R. (2015). Standards-based grading and reporting will improve education. Phi Delta Kappan, 96(7), 64–68. https://doi.org/10.1177/0031721715579043 Work, J. (2014, December 4). 3 Peaks and 3 Pits of Standards-Based Grading. Retrieved November 20, 2019, from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/peaks-pits-standards-basedgrading-josh-work. Bleiberg, J. (2016, October 10). Declining support for Common Core oversimplifies public opinion on common standards. Retrieved November 8, 2019, from https://www.brookings.edu/blog/brown-center-chalkboard/2016/10/10/declining-supportfor-common-core-oversimplifies-public-opinion-on-common-standards/. Paricio 16 Kamil, M. L. (2016). Common Core State Standards and Adaptive Teaching. Theory Into Practice, 55(3), 234–241. 2017-2018 Average Starting Teacher Salaries by State. (n.d.). Retrieved November 20, 2019, from http://www.nea.org/home/2017-2018-average-starting-teacher-salary.html. Paricio 17 Appendix – Interview Notes Phone interview with former teachers: M. Paricio and C. Paricio Both have Master Teaching credentials, National Board Certified, and 30 years of experience - There are different biases in the creation of standards from the different people who make them - Goals of education o Convey information o Teach processes o Inspire critical thinking - Common core’s ideals o Common set of background knowledge o But they are not representative of all the goals of education - People typically want specific standards, which becomes limiting - In opposition to the intention, standardized assessments are subject to more bias o People who write the tests do not always know the purpose of the test o They can only assess knowledge standards, not any other standards o There are not equitable resources for different socioeconomic classes, and you cannot teach all of them the same things - AP and IB testing teach to meet specific standards Questions: 1. Who is the most effective teacher you have worked with, and what did they do to utilize standards in their classroom? - Name: M. Bartholomew - Using standards o Helped coordinate a group of teachers establish Learning Targets based on the Colorado state standards and expert content knowledge (Masters degrees) to be successful in college o Purposeful research o Do not work in isolation o Incorporate needs of students beyond graduation into learning targets o Clearly communicate what and why of objectives o Transparency - Against standards o Valued college preparation over graduation standards o Skills for further success over vague standards - Biggest disadvantage of standards: focus on lowest level, but they forget the middle and highest level o Brings the bottom up, not everyone up - Example of doing it well: IB program has ranks of sophistication o Starts at the lowest level and includes standards for higher achievement o Pro of this/l students know what’s expected o Students need more specifics o However, it takes time to create standards, especially to include higher achievement level standards Paricio 18 2. Who is the least effective teacher you have worked with, and what did they do to utilize standards in their classroom? - Name: D. Sengsavath - Had learning targets, but didn’t have students track their progress - Did not help with students’ metacognition to understand what they have learned - Student must self-evaluate on their own, not with the help or impetus of a teacher - Standards-based grading allows for metacognition but does not make an effort to have students do it. The teacher can encourage it, but they often will not because it is more work - Standards keep curriculum moving, but they require more organization from the teacher, though many do not put in the effort 3. What are the pros and cons of standards-based education? - Pros o Equalize graduation requirements o Minimum competency o Focuses the goals for teachers’ curricula o External review, not just for one person o Provides focus for content coals outside the teacher’s own experience o Gives external validation of curriculum goals o Ideally, they make it easier to transfer students between schools - Cons o Usually over-prescribe the necessary knowledge o Limit creativity o Does not assess application of concepts or higher learning levels o Only assesses minimal competency o Requires standardized assessments § Can be culturally insensitive, test questions can be offensive because they do not consider background knowledge § Do not take resources of schools (like money) into consideration o A lot of emphasis is placed on results o This does not consider different starting levels, situations, and knowledge 4. Why is this issue so important? - Realizing better individual differences, so standards give something for everyone to shoot for - Education must meet the needs of every student, but the needs are different for every student - Standards almost act like a factory for education - Attempt at a one-size-fits-all solution, but for a system that has more than one type of problem - Ignores that teachers are not factory workers/replicas of each other. They can add a personal touch and can see what is best for individual students - It does not account for other roles of schools besides teaching, such as mental health, food sources, clothing, funding, and other resources Paricio 19 Other notes: - Standards-based education does not address non-content- and classroom-related issues, such as racism, socioeconomics, mental health, and social issues - “Standards doesn’t mean anything to a kid who’s hungry or afraid or homeless or an immigrant. And that’s where great teaching makes the only difference.” –M. Paricio
Purchase answer to see full attachment
User generated content is uploaded by users for the purposes of learning and should be used following Studypool's honor code & terms of service.

Explanation & Answer

Please view explanation and answer below.


An Analysis of Whether the United States Government Should continue its high Military

Student’s Name
Institution Affiliation
Instructor’s Name

Topic introduction

The United States of America was number one in the ranking of nations with the
highest military expenditure in the year 2021, with 801 billion U.S.D committed to the
Department of Défense. That made up 38 percentage points of the entire military spending all
over the world that year, that totalled to 2.1 trillion USD (Dizaji & Farzanegan, 2018). As of
2019, the military expenditure of the United States totalled to 3.4 percentage points of the
country’s Gross Domestic Product. While Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Israel are some of the
biggest military spenders in the word, the USA is known to top the list.

Figure 1- list of countries with the highest military spending in 2021


There has been a lot of argument at home about the amount of money that the federal
government has been spending on the Department of Défense. On the 8th of December, the
house voted to pass the 2021 National Défense Authorization Act [NDAA], approved a total
of 740.5 billion in military appropriations and going on with a trend of increases in defence
spending. The bill, approved by a gap that is great enough to override a threatened veto from
President Trump, including pay increases for American servicemen, mandates the renaming
of 10 American military bases currently named after Confederates, and has a notable attention
on competition with China (Statista, 2021). The 2020 Chicago Council Survey has found out
that the American public overall has a tendency to prefer to maintain the present proportions
of defence expenditures. Nonetheless a majority of Democrats, youthful Americans and the
university-educated favour cuts to the American defence budget, while a majority of
Republicans prefer to expand it.
Purpose of the research
The main aim of this research is to deconstruct the current debate on military spending
and make recommendations on the way forward. The deductions that have been provided by
those in support of more expenditure and the deductions that have been provided by those in
support of limited expenditure will be highlighted (Dizaji & Farzanegan, 2018). What is
more, the premises that both sides offer to validate their arguments is going to be put into
consideration and weighted. Depending on the argument that has more valid premises, this
research is going to recommend the best course of action for the federal government to take
putting into consideration its inherent need for economic growth, development, and
Topic Background


Why does this topic matter in Economics?
The topic of US spending matters in economics because it hinges on rationality.
Rationality, for economists, basically connotes that when an individual entity, corporate
entity, or government entity makes a choice, they are going to Mae a selection of something
that will bring the best utility (Rahman & Siddiqui, 2019). This economic reason is very
different from the way everyday people usually think regarding rationality...

Awesome! Perfect study aid.


Similar Content

Related Tags