There is no single normal descent rate in fpm. It varies widely.
A normal descent clearance only requires at least 500fpm. Unless ATC gives a hurry/expedite command.
For most of the explanation I assume an idle thrust descent, without an emergency or any reason to waste energy on purpose. A normal descent is almost a glide, with the engines producing minimum idle thrust.
In that scenario, descent rate is largely proportional to TAS (true airspeed).
So when the descent begins, say from a Mach 0.78 (250kias/450ktas) cruise, descent rate should be around 2500fpm.
This rate of descent should be maintained until transition from Mach to IAS happens. At that point the lower the aircraft goes, the slower the TAS will be, as a consequence, the descent rate will slow down proportionately.
At the same time, idle thrust at high altitude is quite low. The lower the aircraft goes, the higher idle thrust will be, further moderating descent rate.
In many jurisdictions there's a 250kias limit, so the descent rate should reduce a lot 11500 and 10000 to slow down from around 280kias to 250kias, since the true airspeed reduced, so will the descent rate.
Assuming no further speed restrictions, pilot should keep 240-250kias (resulting in about 1300fpm down) until entering the base leg or in the case of a straight in approach around 15nm final. At that point the aircraft should be gear down and rapidly transition to final approach flaps and final approach speed, again, true air speed reduces again, so does rate of descent, assuming a 140kias final, this should lead to around 700fpm descent.
A 3000fpm descent could happen if ATC assigns an altitude restriction, and the pilot trade airspeed for altitude in idle/low thrust, until a minimum safe speed is achieved. Once ATC clears the aircraft to continue its descent, the pilot can trade altitude for airspeed which would result in higher sink rate for a few minutes until the aircraft accelerates back to cruise descent.
If the pilot is too high or is given a hurry through descent clearance, it can deploy spoilers and/or lower the landing gear which could result in a 4000fpm descent.
Some congested airspace calls for quick descents to avoid invading climb/descent areas for other airports.
There's this saying that speed breaks is for pilot's mistakes, but not for ATC's mistakes... That's not a good wisdom. If you don't cooperate with ATC, you might find yourself in a hold or unnecessary detour for your lack of compliance. What might look like a mistake for a pilot might be unavoidable for ATC (for instance short staffed for a few minutes).