Standards Connect The Dots Between Teaching And Learning

By Stephanie Hirsh
February 2016
Have you ever wondered about the impetus for professional learning standards? Here is my view of how professional learning has come to be seen as one of the most powerful strategies for ensuring a great education for all students. In the early 1990s, new accountability systems demonstrated the inequities of educational experiences within schools and across school systems. The initial response by many focused on better test preparation and any strategy that made schools score and look better. At the same time, numerous studies affirmed the belief that the most powerful indicator of a student’s success is the quality of teaching. When scores again flatlined, system and school leaders were ready — and, in some cases, forced — to turn their attention to improving classroom

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Stephanie Hirsh

Stephanie Hirsh ( is executive director of Learning Forward.

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Stephanie Hirsh retired in June 2019 after 31 years with Learning Forward, an international association of more than 13,000 educators committed to increasing student achievement through effective professional learning. Hirsh led the organization as its executive director for the last 13 years where she presented, published, and consulted on Learning Forward’s behalf across North America.

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