Standards Policy Action Guide

By Killion, Joellen | Journal of Staff Development, August 2011 | Go to article overview

Standards Policy Action Guide


Killion, Joellen, Journal of Staff Development


Full implementation of the new Standards for Professional Learning will require individuals and teams of education leaders to become advocates for effective professional learning and to advance policy changes required to adopt the new standards or to revise the existing policies that address the 2001 edition of Standards for Staff Development.

This guide is designed to assist education leaders to initiate policy changes related to the new Standards for Professional Learning. Because policies about professional learning differ among school systems, states, provinces, or nations, education leaders who want to become advocates for effective professional learning may want to add additional steps to the process outlined here or may find that some steps do not apply to their education systems.

Strategies for states/provinces with no professional learning standards tied to policy

For those entities that have not adopted the previous version of the standards, the release of Standards for Professional Learning is an opportunity to examine what role standards might play as part of local, state, provincial, or national policy.

STEP 1: Determine existing assumptions related to Standards for Professional Learning.

For example, which of the following assumptions best fits the most common views about the role of Standards for Professional Learning in policy?

a. Adopting standards into policy at the state or ministry level sets the context for implementation and supports results.

b. Good practice is more important than policy about professional learning.

c. The more people who know the standards, the better professional learning will be.

d. In order to move the standards into state/provincial policy, school systems must first adopt the standards into local policy.

e. Local school system policy has greater leverage than state/provincial policy when it comes to professional learning.

Generate your own assumptions about standards and policy.

STEP 2: Determine your individual or organization's goals related to Standards for Professional Learning.

Goals might include:

a. Adopt the standards into state/provincial/national policy, regulation, administrative guidelines, etc.

b. Adopt the standards into local school system policy, regulation, administrative guidelines, etc.

c. Establish the standards as criteria for funding for professional learning, i.e. Title II, Title I, ASCI, etc.

d. Implement a knowledge campaign.

e. Establish awards for schools and/or districts exhibiting the standards in practice.

f. Use the standards to evaluate the effectiveness of professional learning.

Generate your own goals for standards.

An expanded version of this tool is available at www. learningforward.org and offers guidance to those entities that have adopted or adapted the previous versions as well as those that have not.

STEP 3: When goals are established, create an action plan with timeline, assignments, indicators of success, and evaluation plan for professional learning.

STEP 4: Monitor progress and adjust.

STEP 5: Report publicly to other education leaders about progress toward achieving the identified goals.

Strategies for states/provinces with 2001 standards in policy

For those entities that have adopted the previous version of the standards, educators will need to determine what changes are required as a result of the release of Standards for Professional Learning. …

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