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Bridging the Gap Between State Standards and Classroom Achievement: A Forum

Saturday, Mar 02, 2002 | 12:00am

Unless states step in to help turn standards into the tools that schools need, the promise of standards-based reform will be lost. That was the message of a March 2002 national forum for state educators, policymakers, teacher unionists, and business leaders on the challenges of curriculum and professional development to meaningful standards-based reform.  “Very few states have developed even a basic curriculum,” said Sandra Feldman, president of the American Federation of Teachers and Albert Shanker Institute, at the event which was cosponsored by the Albert Shanker Institute and Achieve, Inc. That’s one reason that teachers’ support for standards has been slipping, said Feldman—from 73 percent in ASI’s 1999 poll to just over 50 percent in a recent AFT poll. “It’s much easier to put a new test into place than to implement the effective supports that kids really need,” said Feldman. “Quality curricula and professional development—this is the next frontier for standards-based reform.”