This document provides a framework for thinking about the possible effects of nationally developed standards in three subject areas—mathematics, science, and technology. Those standards have been defined in documents published by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) in Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics (1989), Professional Standards for Teaching Mathematics (1991), Assessment Standards for School Mathematics (1995), and Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (2000); by the National Research Council (NRC) in National Science Education Standards (1996); and by the International Technology Education Association (ITEA) in Standards for Technological Literacy: Content for the Study of Technology (2000).
Given that array of nationally developed standards, two related questions arise: How has the system responded to the introduction of nationally developed standards? and What are the consequences for student learning? In other words, what inferences can be made about what is happening in the “black box” between the development of national standards and any impact on student learning (Figure 1–1)?
The charge to the Committee that produced this document was to “develop a framework that can be used to understand the influence of science, mathematics, and technology education standards on programs, policies, and practices.” The Committee acknowledged early in its work that a body of research related to education standards is emerging—work that addresses questions of