Professional associations would join together and collaborate with decision makers in establishing assessment and accountability programs that draw on multiple measures and address the full range of standards-based content and skills. The public would be informed of standards-based progress and supportive of continuing efforts. Attempts to weaken or dismantle standards-based education—whether to de-emphasize the place of mathematics, science, or technology in the curriculum; to limit assessment solely to skill development; or to reduce funding for professional development focused on standards-based instruction—would be met with vocal public criticism and opposed by policy makers.

On the other hand, standards may generate resistance and opposition by individuals and groups outside the system. In that case, scientists, mathematicians, engineers, and technology design professionals who disagree with the standards’ vision of mathematics, science, and technology education, would argue, for example, that standards exclude important content or lack rigor. Such groups would work to influence views of policy makers or the public at large, affecting decisions and actions within the education system.

Opponents would encourage funding or programmatic decisions regarding curriculum, professional development, and accountability practices that inhibit implementation of the nationally developed standards, working to convince legislators, governors, and school boards that the fiscal, resource, or political costs associated with changes urged by the standards are inappropriate.


The Framework questions (see Figure 3–3) offer guidance in studying possible influences of standards on public and political forces outside the education system and the effect of those forces on the education system’s channels of influence by raising questions such as these:

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