Activity Directions: Develop Shared Understanding of Effective Policy

This activity can be used as part of an exploration process designed to develop an understanding of effective policies in a standards based education. Educators will be involved in discussions to identify how the policies support or create barriers to a standards based education system. 


This activity is designed to help educators explore and gain a shared understanding of effective policies.


45 minutes or more 


1. Identify a leadership team that represents broad stakeholder groups (parents, special population teachers, elective teachers, counselors, students, etc.) and academic content area.

2. Provide copies of the policies that guide teaching and learning at the school for each person within the team.  

3. Print out copies of the Policy Inventory or share a link to the Policy Inventory for each member of the team.


1. Discuss the current policy at the site level, including how the policy supports a standards based system as well as possible barriers to equitable standards implementation.

2. Use the Policy Inventory to record notes about the policies.

3. Add additional policies to chart as needed.

4. Discuss plans to learn more or to address any issues identified.