. "A Strategic Framework for Standards-Based Reform." Improving Student Learning in Mathematics and Science: The Role of National Standards in State Policy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 1997.
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Improving Student Learning in Mathematics and Science: The Role of National Standards in State Policy
standards. People modify district and school science and mathematics curriculum, revise criteria for the selection of instructional materials, change teacher credentialing and recertification, and develop new assessments. Enacting new policies, programs, and practices builds new understandings that can feed back into interpretation. In the evaluation dimension, information gathered about impact can contribute directly to improvement. Monitoring of and feedback to various parts of the system result in an evolution of policies, programs, and practices. At some point, as a planned element of the process, revision of standards occurs, incorporating the new knowledge developed through implementation and evaluation and drawing heavily on input and discussion generated in the field by the original documents.
There exists some logical sequence to the dimensions. For example, people need to become aware of standards before they deepen their understanding through interpretation activities. Likewise, implementation without understanding can lead to change that is mechanical, superficial, and-in the extreme--can imperil reform with the dismissal that "it doesn't work." Effective implementation requires interpretation and understanding. Revision without adequate evaluation will not reflect what is learned from the original effort.
Note, however, that while the framework may seem linear, its dimensions are intertwined. For example, since practice informs understanding, implementation can lead to a new or deeper interpretation of the standards or elements of them. Evaluation and reflection pervade all other dimensions. Figure 2 attempts to capture the simultaneously cyclical, iterative, and nonlinear nature of the framework's dimensions.
The different dimensions of the framework are played out with different audiences, as shown in Figure 3 (Bybee, 1997). These audiences are organized into four categories that reflect each audience's primary role in the system: policy, program, practice, and political and public support.
The framework helps to address the question of how different stakeholders participate in standards-based reforms. Creating a matrix using the different dimensions on the horizontal axis and the possible participants on the vertical axis, activities can be arrayed in the cells. For example, an interpretation activity for colleges
FIGURE 2. Relationships Among the Dimensions of the Strategic Framework