• Teacher Development. School districts, institutions of higher education, state agencies, and other entities recruit, prepare, license, and evaluate teachers, as well as provide an array of opportunities for continued professional learning. Nationally developed standards can inform these processes in many ways, influencing the content and expectations for teacher preparation and for their career-long professional growth.

  • Assessment and Accountability. Student assessment practices—created by teachers, district or state agencies, assessment developers, postsecondary institutions, and others—establish ways that student learning is monitored, and, in so doing, may operationally define the classroom content that matters most. Based on assessment results, accountability mechanisms often establish consequences for students, teachers, and schools. Nationally developed standards may define the content domain that assessments address, as well as prompt development of new forms of assessment.

Standards may also have an impact on education’s social and political contexts, spurring those outside the education system to influence, both directly and indirectly, what happens in classrooms. For example, what parents and other members of the public, their political representatives, the media, and relevant professional organizations say and do can influence the practice of public education. How stakeholders outside the education system understand and interpret standards may therefore influence how—and whether—standards ultimately cause changes in classroom teaching and learning.


Based on the Committee’s view of the education system, described above, the Committee developed a Framework that consists, first, of a conceptual map that shows the contextual forces

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