What is it?
Learning Forward’s What Matters Now Network (WMNN) was conceived in 2016 and launched in 2017 with support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The Network brings together state, district, and school leaders within and across three states with a shared vision to accelerate the adoption of job-embedded professional learning that is focused on selecting and implementing high-quality instructional materials.
When strong professional learning systems support educators in implementing high-quality curriculum and instructional materials, more students have access to effective teaching and learning - and better student outcomes are the result. The Network is grounded in the vision established in the 2016 National Commission for Teaching & America's Future (NCTAF) report What Matters Now: A New Compact for Teaching and Learning.
The work of the What Matters Now Network is unique in its focus on these essential components:
The What Matters Now Network launched with three states. Maryland, Rhode Island, and Ohio have formed coalitions with strong stakeholder representation including state department of education representatives, district leaders, school leaders, and teachers. Each coalition is facilitated by a collaborative partner – an experienced and respected entity in the state with knowledge of history and context. The three coalitions are united by a shared problem of practice: How can all teachers in participating states access coherent and relevant job-embedded professional learning that enables them to select and effectively implement high-quality curricula and instructional materials? Each coalition has narrowed this shared problem of practice according to a content-specific need.
In Maryland, the state is focused on teachers in Network schools receiving professional learning aligned to high quality curricula and instructional materials to equip students to meet or exceed state average results on the NGSS-aligned science assessment by May 2021. Learn more.
Why focus on the intersection of professional learning and instructional materials?
When all students experience high-quality teaching, they are more likely to learn. When all classrooms are filled with high-quality instructional materials, students are more likely to learn. Establishing these conditions for all learners will help close achievement gaps. Explore High-Quality Curricula and Team-Based Professional Learning: A Perfect Partnership for Equity for rationale, lessons from practitioners, and action steps.
Read Network uses improvement science to scale up change, from The Learning Professional, February 2019.