As the standards movement gains steam, providers of software, videos, and other materials are developing products to help teachers understand the requirements they face and develop lesson plans that correspond to those standards. Resources include:
• Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning (http://www.mcrel.org) is a one-stop shop for national and state standards. The site includes explanations of these standards and web links to lesson plans that match the standards.
• Developing Educational Standards (http://www.putnamvalleyschools.org/standards.html) links to national and state standards, as well as dozens of informative articles and training materials that help implement these standards. The site was devised by officials of the Putnam Valley (N.Y.) School District.
• The Middle Web Guide to Standards-Based School Reform (http://www.middleweb.com/SBRGuide.html) is a collection of articles and links, oriented toward middle-school standards.
• MervLink (http://www.mervlink.org) shows teachers how to use the internet to connect their classrooms with other classrooms around the United States. The lesson plans described on the site match up with national performance standards.
• “Schools That Learn: High Standards for Teacher and Principal Performance” is designed to start educators and administrators down the path of changing their curricula to implement new standards. Call (202) 986-4959 to order.
• “Expecting Success: How Standards Can Raise Student Performance” explains standards and standards-based teaching to parents. The video is supplemented by a discussion guide. Call (202) 986-4959 to order.
Student Management Software
• Standards Record-Keeping and Reporting assists teachers who are tracking student achievement in a standards-based classroom, and the software can be customized. Call (888) 514-2535 to order.
• The Standards-Based Grade Book organizes student records and provides a running comparison against benchmark topics and standards. It also comes with a good tutorial. Call (888) 514-2535 to order.