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Professional-Development Group Plans Common-Standards Help

As schools and districts across the country start getting serious about translating the common standards into instruction, the need for professional development is intense. (A top publishing-company exec told me for a story not long ago that even though the market for instructional materials is strong, p.d. is what's "driving" the common-standards marketplace.)

Into that fray jumps the ASCD, which focuses on professional development. The group is beefing up its common-standards public-policy staff as it prepares to "advance understanding and implementation" of the new standards.

That work will include a series of summits with a twofold aim: to tell its membership (principals, teachers, superintendents) about the standards, but also to gather information about what those folks need to put the standards to work in the classroom. The ASCD will then use that feedback to develop as-yet-unspecified tools and resources to support teaching and learning that reflect the standards.

The ASCD's common-core work is fueled by a $3 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has become perhaps the nation's highest-profile common-standards supporter. (Editorial Projects in Education, the nonprofit company that publishes EdWeek, also receives support from the Gates Foundation, but not for coverage of common standards.)

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