political process, involving key players such as legislators, government officials, and citizen groups, in addition to educators. Educational concerns may motivate professional organizations, parents, and others to lobby for certain decisions or work toward particular goals. Education policy decisions may also be influenced by media that convey information and shape public perceptions. In addition to exerting influence through the political system, some businesses, education and professional organizations, and others may influence the education system directly, for example, by supporting ongoing teacher professional development efforts.
If the standards are influencing individuals and groups external to the education system as intended, decisions enacted by elected officials and policy makers would show support for standards-based reforms. Professional associations in the forefront of the development of national standards for mathematics, science, and technology would lead national and local efforts to implement the standards, as well as work with elected officials and leaders to build a consensus in support of institutionalizing standards-based reforms.
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 would work to affect 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.
The Framework in this document provides a set of organizing categories, presumed relationships among them, and questions to prompt inquiry. The Framework lays out a complex domain of interacting forces and conditions that affect teaching and learning, any number of which can be touched by the influence of standards.