stands which part of the main text of the document contains the standards to be used in the review. If your standards are not numbered, a system for referring to an individual standard should be developed (See "Numbering Standards" in Chapter 5).
This may be the first local review to be based on standards or the first experience that individual reviewers have had in applying standards. Reviewers should understand that standards are student learning goals and that the review must determine how likely student are to meet those goals using the instructional materials that will be under review.
Materials do not teach by themselves; so reviewers will need to judge how successfully local teachers will be in using the materials to help students meet learning goals. Reviewers should base their judgments on the explicit guidance and support the materials provide for the teacher — the teacher's guide, lab manual, directions for each lesson, overall format and organization — as well as on the availability of professional development. The reviewers are encouraged to make comments about the knowledge and experience of local teachers in the "Summary Judgment" and "Additional Information" sections of their reviews. The comments recorded for the materials eventually selected will be very helpful to those who plan the professional development that will be required to help the teachers use new materials effectively.
Most instructional material units address more than one content standard, and some will address a standard only partially. The purpose of the review is to evaluate materials against the two to five standards of highest priority. Later, during the selection process, decisions will be made on how best to put together a sequence of instructional materials that meet all student learning goals.
Incorporate the use of selected reference materials. During training activities, introduce reference materials and model their use. The Standards (NRC, 1996) are especially helpful in describing inquiry, providing a broad description of each subject area at K-4, 5-8, and 9-12 grades and outlining good science teaching practices. In Benchmarks (AAAS, 1993) the chapter format enables a reviewer easily to survey a content area from kindergarten through grade 12. Either Standards or Benchmarks should be used to supplement local content standards, particularly when the local standards are lists of topics rather than descriptive of what students should understand. In addition, for some content areas, the Benchmarks chapter on the research base is a convenient reference on children's ideas and recommended teaching strategies.