Action Overview: Effective Policies

Action: Develop shared understanding of effective policies

This set of resources is designed to support systems to develop shared understandings on effective policies in a standards based education system.

What are effective policies?

Effective policies in education relate to governance and funding, and promote a quality culture in systems and institutions.

“The most successful policies are those that match the purpose and principles of the system.” (Burger, 1998, p.6). Congruence between policies and work are essential within a Standards-Based Education System. For example, examining policies and important components of standards-based instruction such as professional development must also include an analysis of their relationship to instruction, assessment, and student outcomes.

Some Considerations Regarding Policies

· Who is involved with establishing policy? What is the process for developing policy?

· How are stakeholders’ voices involved?

· How are initiatives monitored to ensure alignment to instructional practices and learning outcomes at each grade level? Is there coherence among the components of the system?

· How are time and resources allocated? Are needs addressed to ensure all educators have the necessary support and guidance to teach within a standards-based education system?

· How are students assessed on the standards? How are outcomes communicated with students and families? How are students graded or provided with feedback?

· How are special student populations (gifted, special education, English language learners, etc.) identified and supported?

· What data are collected? Who reviews data? How are data utilized?

· How are educators and administrators observed, evaluated and provided feedback? How is the feedback utilized?

· What policies are in place for discipline, attendance, scheduling that impact student learning?

· What policies are missing?

Suggested Activities

Explore current policies and discuss how they support or provide a barrier to Standards Based Education Systems.


National Implementation Research Center (2019). Systemic Change. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Burger, D. 1998. Designing a Sustainable Standards-based Assessment System. Mid-continent Regional Educational Laboratory, Inc.