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INFORMATIONAL LETTER # 121
POLICY CODE: IG
TO: Superintendents of Schools (Please forward to Asst. Superintendents, Curriculum Coordinators, School Principals, Guidance Directors, and Special Education Directors)
FROM: Susan A.Gendron, Commissioner of Education
RE: Learning Results Review Process
Key Points Covered in this Informational Letter:
The Learning Results have been in place since 1997, and ongoing review was contemplated from the outset, as noted in the Preface to the document. The Department’s review of the Learning Results will consider our and your experience with the standards to date, research, the assessability of the standards, public commentary, and refinements and changes in content area standards documents from national professional associations. As stated above, the scope of this review will encompass content standards and performance indicators; the format, structure (which includes the four grade spans) and terminology (content standard, performance indicator, etc.) of the Learning Results document will remain in their present form. As a result of the review, those elements in any given content area that rise to the surface as being significant may be recommended for revision. It is anticipated that any recommended revisions resulting from the review process will be presented to the Joint Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs, in the context of the rule-making process, prior to full approval by the Legislature.
In discussions with the Learning
Results Steering Committee over the past several months, members of the
committee have expressed the concern that embarking on the review process in
the near future runs the risk of raising the anxiety level of teachers,
principals, and other educators who are still deeply involved with implementing
the current language of the standards.
Given that concern, the Department will make every effort to reassure
educators and the public that any changes to the language of the standards will
not impact current curriculum, instruction, or assessment work taking place in
The Department will engage the
services of a Distinguished Educator to coordinate and conduct the review of
An oversight process for the entire review will be established and, in addition to the Distinguished Educator, will include a Learning Results Review Process Committee and eight Content Area Advisory Panels. Working with the Distinguished Educator, these groups will ensure the engagement of relevant stakeholders in the review process. The Learning Results Steering Committee will receive periodic updates on the process and will ultimately make recommendations to the Commissioner. With assistance from the Department’s content area specialists, the Content Area Advisory Panels will review the content area standards and performance indicators in a uniform manner, based on a common protocol. Once any potential revisions are identified, there will be opportunities for review and comment by the field.
Though the rulemaking process entails a review of the language of the standards, the Department will be considering other tools and strategies to support more effective implementation of the Learning Results, as well. Current considerations include the following:
· Development of a robust web-based presentation of the standards, including links to national standards documents, instructional tools, and assessments.
· Inclusion of interdisciplinary connections embedded in each content area.
· Inclusion of technology integration strategies and instructional supports for each content area.
· Inclusion of community connections and real world application possibilities for each content area.
· Development and posting of strategies for incorporating the Guiding Principles in instruction, assessment, and reporting strategies.
This initial set of ideas to strengthen implementation is only for preliminary consideration and discussion. Please contact either of the Department staff members listed below if you have additional ideas on how the Department can make the Learning Results review process and eventual re-publication more effective.
Department Contact information:
Department of Education Learning Results Review: firstname.lastname@example.org
Learning Results Steering Committee: email@example.com