Standards for Professional Learning drive everything we do at Learning Forward and in this journal. But this issue is special because it is entirely devoted to the recently revised 2022 iteration of the standards. It peeks under the hood of the standards revision process that took place over more than two years. It delves into the specifics of the new standards and how educators at all levels can apply them to improve teaching and learning. And it sets the stage for the many standards-aligned articles, tools, and issues yet to come.
In this issue’s Voices section, you’ll hear from Learning Forward leaders and expert columnists about why the standards matter now more than ever, what’s new in the latest version, and how the 11 standards can work together to create coherent systems of learning for all educators and students.
The Research section explains how data and evidence drove the standards revision. You’ll also find exciting results from a comprehensive review of the professional learning literature and a cutting-edge study that found standards-aligned professional learning is linked with positive outcomes for teachers and students.
In the Focus section, we share an overview of the revised standards and how they have evolved over time, then dive into how to implement standards at school, district, and state levels and in different contexts. Members of our Standards Advisory Council delve into three areas of focus that set the revised standards apart from previous iterations: equity, leadership, and curriculum, assessment, and instruction.
As part of our ongoing commitment to provide useful tools, this issue includes an excerpt from an Innovation Configuration (IC) map for the new standards. IC maps are role-specific tools that help educators at all levels assess their current implementation of each standard and plan their next steps. They have been a popular resource with Learning Forward members in previous iterations of the standards, and we’re excited to share a preview of the updated maps.
We are grateful to the philanthropic organizations that have made the standards revision process and resources possible: the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies. Their support also makes it possible for us to make all the articles in this issue publicly accessible on our website.
We encourage you to share the articles widely with your networks and familiarize yourself with the many other standards resources available on our website and online bookstore.
We also hope you’ll join us at our Annual Conference in December in Nashville, Tennessee, which will include many opportunities to explore the new standards, including the Standards Lab, where Learning Forward experts will be available to answer your questions about how to apply the standards in your specific context.
Looking forward, you can expect standards articles and tools in upcoming issues of The Learning Professional. I invite you to share your feedback and questions with us so we can make those resources as helpful to you as possible. Reach out to us by email or social media @learningforward #TheLearningPro.
Working together, we can build high-quality, standards-aligned professional learning systems for all educators.
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Suzanne Bouffard is vice president, publications at Learning Forward. She is the editor of The Learning Professional, Learning Forward’s flagship publication. She also contributes to the Learning Forward blog and webinars. With a background in child development, she has a passion for making research and best practices accessible to educators, policymakers, and families. She has written for many national publications including The New York Times and the Atlantic, and previously worked as a writer and researcher at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Duke University and a B.A. from Wesleyan University. She loves working with authors to help them develop their ideas and voices for publication.
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