educational reforms must provide equitable opportunities for all students.
States responded in the 1980s by developing new curriculum guidelines, frameworks, standards, and testing programs (e.g., Education Commission of the States, 1983; Armstrong, Davis, Odden, and Gallagher, 1988; Davis and Armstrong, 1990). By the end of the decade, the NCTM Standards and the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s (AAAS) Science for All Americans (1989) articulated a national direction for teaching and learning in mathematics, science, and technology. President George H.W.Bush convened the first National Education Summit to discuss national educational goals with state governors (Miller, 1989). Discussions initiated at the summit transmuted into discussions about national education standards (National Governors Association [NGA], 1990; Fuhrman and Elmore, 1994), and in 1990, the National Education Goals Panel was formed.
Standards were soon embraced as a way to improve education and became the consensus view among state and national policy makers, crossing partisan lines (National Council on Education Standards and Testing, 1992). “Systemic reform” was conceptualized as a strategy to align reform activities across all components of the education system, rather than pursuing isolated changes in parts of the system (Smith and O’Day, 1991; O’Day and Smith, 1993).
During the 1990s, states and school districts adapted the nationally developed standards in various ways (Humphrey, Anderson, Marsh, Marder, and Shields, 1997; Council of Chief State School Officers [CCSSO], 1997). Many states initiated additional efforts aimed at improving education, and, for many reformers, the term “systemic reform” became synonymous with “standards-based reform.”
The mathematics, science, and technology teaching and learning promoted by the NCTM, NRC, and ITEA standards documents reflect the reform period within which they were developed. The vision they describe represents a departure from