FIGURE 3–1 The Layers of Education Governance and Channels Through Which Reform Might Flow

As reforms (such as standards) enter the education system and traverse one or more “channels,” they may affect policies, programs, and practices within various jurisdictional layers. The channels are:

  • Curriculum. Mandates and resources from legislative bodies, and decisions and developmental work by teachers, school and district curriculum coordinators, state agencies, curriculum development organizations, and textbook publishers all collectively define what teachers should teach and students should learn. Nationally developed standards, as well as state and local standards, typically play roles in this process, and thus may help to define the content of instruction.



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