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Making Sense of Standards: Implementation Issues and the Impact on Teacher Practice

An examination of standards implementation in Philadelphia public schools as part of a series of progress reports on the Children Achieving Challenge from the 1996-97 school year. This report addresses how standards influence instruction in Philadelphia classrooms. The authors found that many teachers did not think that they needed to change their instructional practice to incorporate the district’s new content standards. Teachers saw the standards as a list of topics to be included in their curricula, rather than as a set of learning outcomes – their most common response was, ‘I’m already doing that.’ The report also examines how new assessment mechanisms, including the SAT-9, affected classroom instruction.