A group convened by the Council of Chief State School Officers recently released a draft of professional teaching standards that outline what practices, essential knowledge, and dispositions teachers should embody to help students succeed.
Developed by the CCSSO's Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium, the new set of standards contains some notable differences from the prior set, released in 1992. For one, the standards are no longer limited to beginning teachers; instead, they're meant to guide teachers at all levels of their career, with more-experienced teachers exhibiting the practices in more-sophisticated ways.
In addition, the standards put more emphasis on teachers' ability to use assessment data to support instruction, to address cultural and linguistic diversity in the student population, and to harness technology as a tool to support learning.
The authors also wove interdisciplinary themes of communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and technology use—sometimes called the 21st-century skills—throughout the standards.
Of course, as with the common academic-content standards movement, there's a huge difference between adopting standards and actually creating the infrastructure to translate them into action. Will states and districts align induction supports, evaluation systems, and professional development to these guidelines?
The standards are open for public commentary until Oct. 15. Feel free to post your thoughts on the InTASC standards here, too.