developed standards address this critical question when examining particular elements of the system and when gathering evidence regarding student learning.

If these four central questions within the Framework are used in the context of particular investigations, both producers and consumers of research can acquire important insights into possible benefits and limitations of nationally developed standards.

The next four chapters provide more detail regarding the channels and outside forces through which standards may influence the education system. Each chapter starts with a brief overview of that part of the system, examines ways in which nationally developed standards might stimulate either positive or negative changes, and identifies places to look for evidence of any impact standards may have had. The final chapter examines ways in which the Framework can be applied to develop understanding of the influence of standards in the U.S. education system.



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