To make this transition, states, districts, and schools should do as much as possible to provide teachers with support for professional learning tied to the new standards. It’s also critical for teachers to connect with and learn from each other.
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But many educators aren’t “connected” yet because they haven’t taken advantage of opportunities for professional learning online or they aren’t realizing the full benefits. Many districts and states also haven’t done enough to recognize this essential learning as legitimate professional development.
The nonprofit Academy for Urban School Leadership in Chicago provides a great “alternative” route to the classroom, in which participants complete a yearlong residency working with effective mentor teachers.
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But, among 4-year-olds in the U.S., fewer than three in 10 attend a high-quality preschool program. This opportunity gap confronts far too many American children — particularly those living in low-income communities. We need to work hard to reach many more students.