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Kentucky to Model Professional Development for New Standards

We've been telling you that the demand for professional development aligned to the common standards has been soaring. One publishing executive told us not long ago that PD was "driving" the common standards market right now. So in that light, it's worth noting that Kentucky has been chosen as a demonstration site for a new, statewide professional-development model reflecting the common standards.

Learning Forward, a professional-development outfit that used to be known as the National Staff Development Council, is leading the effort, with funding from the Sandler Foundation. Six other states—Georgia, Illinois, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Utah, and Washington—will serve as "critical friends," helping to develop the new PD system.

There are some other very familiar names on board for this project. No doubt you haven't forgotten that the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers spearheaded the common-standards initiative; they're part of this initiative, too.

Also aboard is the National Association of State Boards of Education, which, you might recall, has been convening state boards nationwide to get them schooled on the standards and exploring the challenges states face in implementing them. Also involved in the initiative is the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education, a signal of awareness that aspiring teachers—not just the ones already in the classroom—must be reached if states are to translate the common standards into sound curriculum and instruction in the coming years.

Part of the PD project will involve creating and delivering the professional development itself, but it reaches into the school day as well; Learning Forward noted that it will "support new school year and daily school schedules that provide substantive time for professional learning for educators."

Kentucky was the first state to adopt the common standards. And it's been pushing forward on implementation; it's one of eight states that are piloting instructional tools created by math and literacy "design collaboratives" working to build new resources for the common standards.

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