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Standards Ace the Test during American Education Week

The annual celebration of American Education Week, held this year from November 18 to 22, recognizes the important role that public education plays in expanding children's minds, encouraging innovative thinking, and improving the national and global economies. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) salutes schools, educators, and learning-focused organizations, as well as the numerous groups - many of them members of the ANSI Federation - that develop the standards that help make the U.S. educational system function effectively.

For millions of children around the United States, the school day begins and ends with a ride on a yellow school bus. Parents depend on the school districts and private companies that operate these bus routes to keep their children safe and secure while they're travelling to class. Thankfully, ANSI member and accredited standards developer SAE International has developed a standard to help out. SAE J 887-2011 (SAE J887-2011), School Bus Warning Lamps, provides test procedure references, design guidelines, and performance requirements for light-up devices used on school buses to alert traffic when children are entering or exiting the bus, helping to assure children's safety as they travel to and from school.

Education Doesn't Stop at School!
In recent years, as more and more jobs require applicants to have special training or experience beyond just a high school diploma, non-academic skill-based credentials have become a growing part of the educational spectrum, providing new opportunities for job seekers and employers. But the existing market for these credentials is still unformed, with many sectors lacking the transparent, portable, nationally recognized competency-based credentials that workers need.

ANSI's Personnel Credentialing Accreditation Programs provide third-party accreditation of competency-based workforce credentials, while the ANSI Certificate Accreditation Program (ANSI-CAP) provides third-party accreditation of organizations that issue education and training assessment based certificates to the U.S. workforce. By adhering to a rigorous internationally recognized accreditation process, ANSI ensures that these programs conform to the highest accreditation standard and represents the best practices in the field.

Both ANSI-CAP and ANSI's personnel certification accreditation programs fulfill the requirements of ISO/IEC 17011, Conformity assessment - General requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies, which represents the global benchmark for accreditation body practice. ANSI is currently the only personnel certification accreditation body in the United States to meet nationally accepted practices for accreditation bodies.

To learn more about ANSI's work on accreditation, including its personnel accreditation and ANSI-CAP activities, visit

While the rise of modern electronics has made a significant mark in today's classrooms, with desktop computers in nearly every school and the use of tablets on the rise, the humble pen and pencil still play important roles in assisting children with their note-taking and schoolwork. ISO 27668-1:2009, Gel ink ball pens and refills - Part 1: General use¸ sets down minimum quality requirements in connection with the workings of both refillable and non-refillable gel ink ball pens, as well as related refills. The standard was developed by International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee (TC) 10, Technical product documentation. ANSI member and accredited standards developer ASME serves as the ANSI-accredited U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Administrator to ISO TC 10. And though most students use these writing implements on homework assignments, school art classes and afterschool programs also make use of pens and pencils as they teach kids about drawing and other forms of visual expression. A standard from ANSI member and audited designator ASTM International provides helpful guidance in connection with colored pencils commonly used by artists and art students alike. ASTM D6901-06, Standard Specification for Artists' Colored Pencils, provides requirements for the labeling, composition, and performance of colored pencils used for art purposes, as well as additional requirements for consistency, lightfastness, and identification.

School supplies like pens and pencils can be a great help to budding scholars, but only if they can clearly see the chalkboard and the paper they're writing on. An American National Standard from the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES), an ANSI member and accredited standards developer, has developed a standard that provides guidance regarding the lighting needs of a wide variety of educational settings. ANSI/IESNA RP-3-00, Lighting for Educational Facilities, includes information about design considerations, energy management, and psychological impacts, and discusses how different types of instructional media, such as chalkboards and TV screens, can be most effectively lit.

After all that classroom time and homework and studying, it's important for teachers to be able to assess accurately whether a given student has absorbed and understood the material they've been presented with. ANSI/JCSEE SES-2002, The Student Evaluation Standards: How to Improve Evaluations of Students, provides teachers, parents, administrators, legislators, and other educational stakeholders with guidance in connection with the proper conduct and sound administration of student evaluations. The standards, which provide information intended to define the characteristics of effective student evaluations, were developed by ANSI member and accredited standards developer the Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation.

For more information about American Education Week, including a history of the celebration and related resources, visit the National Education Association (NEA)'s American Education Week website at


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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