Standards vs. Standardization: Do Standards Get a Bad Rap? by Sharon Cohen

Public education has more than its share of hot buttons. Autonomy and accountability are two examples of topics likely to stir up passionate, often conflicting, views. Is the concept of standards a new addition to the hot button list? Do some people now associate standards with comparative evaluation, where there are often winners and losers? What is the difference between standards and standardization?

The Oxford dictionary defines a standard as a level of quality or attainment. True standards give us the information to judge how close we are to where we aspire to be. They are signposts along a journey. Professional learning is at the center of every effort to increase educator effectiveness and results for all students. The Learning Forward Standards for Professional Learning stimulate dialogue, discussion and analysis that lead to more effective professional learning.

“Professional Learning:  Standards not Standardization” will be the focus of next fall’s networking dinner session on Thursday, October 16th. Participants will consider the differences between standards and standardization, hear how school teams have used the Standards for Professional Learning and actively explore the standards and other tools. Please put the date in your calendar, join us for a stimulating discussion and leave with useful tools to guide you.




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