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Since 1989, with the publication of Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for Mathematics by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, standards have been at the forefront of the education reform movement in the United States. The mathematics standards, which were revised in 2000, have been joined by standards in many subjects, including the National Research Council's National Science Education Standards published in 1996 and the Standards for Technical Literacy issued by the International Technology Education Association in 2000. There is no doubt that standards have begun to influence the education system. The question remains, however, what the nature of that influence is and, most importantly, whether standards truly improve student learning. To answer those questions, one must begin to examine the ways in which components of the system have been influenced by the standards. Investigating the Influence of Standards provides a framework to guide the design, conduct, and interpretation of research regarding the influences of nationally promulgated standards in mathematics, science, and technology education on student learning. Researchers and consumers of research such as teachers, teacher educators, and administrators will find the framework useful as they work toward developing an understanding of the influence of standards.
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