April 14, 2023
Several states are in the process of adopting new standards. They’ll offer educators a defined scope and sequence of content that aligns grade levels in schools and districts throughout the state. They’re also the source for the state assessments used to measure student achievement. Most important, these new standards will provide the foundation for what students are expected to know. The rollout of new standards can seem like a seismic shift for educators. Teachers may feel overwhelmed, but district leaders can help support these changes by adopting a strategic approach and carefully managing expectations.
Learning to teach new standards requires a big lift from educators. It’s imperative for district and school leaders to allot time and energy for teachers to process the changes and plan for implementation.
As districts adopt new state standards, leaders must take a series of steps to ensure that classroom instruction supports student achievement in the defined content and skills. Educators will need to:
Review instructional materials and consider adopting new materials
Plan and implement professional development for all impacted grades and content areas
Procure and deploy new assessments, both summative and diagnostic
Develop and reinforce communications from district and school leaders to educators, students, families, and the community
It’s also important to remember that many experienced educators believe that they already understand the standards for the grade(s) they teach and know how to structure learning so students can reach mastery. It’s important to honor that experience. Favorite concepts and units may no longer be part of the defined content.
Successfully adopting new standards requires leaders to be intentional, resourced, and transparent so that clear and measurable goals can be set for students, grade levels, schools, and the district as a whole.
Download our resource, Five Ways District Leaders Can Empower Teachers as They Adopt New Standards.