Alexandria, VA (09/11/2012)—ASCD has released Assignments Matter: Making the Connections That Help Students Meet Standards, written by seasoned teacher coach and curriculum design expert Eleanor Dougherty. This new professional development resource for educators is now available in e-book formats and in paperback.

“Assignments may well be the missing link in school reform efforts to improve student achievement,” writes Dougherty. Pulling from more than a decade of work to make classroom instruction more effective and manageable, she sets out to guide classroom teachers and administrators through the process for crafting high-quality assignments.

Assignments Matter demystifies and streamlines assignment-making. In the book, Dougherty outlines how assignments can make instructional decisions simpler and more relevant, deepening readers’ understanding of assignments’ powerful effects on teaching and learning.

This book helps educators set the stage for effective teaching by adopting strategies for crafting, enriching, and collecting meaningful data from effective assignments. Readers will delve deeply into the how and why behind their own instructional decisions and learn to apply an approach that is part procedural and part metacognitive to their practice in order to create meaningful learning experiences for students.

Classroom teachers will connect with a process for creating effective assignments and learn how to tap into touchstones that serve to enrich these assignments. Curriculum designers and teacher coaches will gain a clear understanding of how to grow environments that enable the effective teaching of assignments and develop a school or districtwide strategy for teaching assignments across a grade level or department.

“We’re pleased to publish this timely book, an essential read for educators seeking to create meaningful experiences for students while meeting the Common Core State Standards,” said ASCD CEO and Executive Director Dr. Gene R. Carter.

About the Author

Eleanor Dougherty is a consultant with education foundations and agencies on curriculum and professional development. During her career, she has taught in public, private, and postsecondary institutions and worked in both practice and policy organizations, including the U.S. Department of Education and the Education Trust. She has also assisted districts and organizations with diverse student populations across the country, and her work over the last two decades has focused on literacy and its role in the larger curriculum, particularly in the core subjects. Dougherty is currently involved in developing a national literacy strategy, Literacy Design Collaborative, to help teachers in the core subjects align their practice to the Common Core State Standards.

To delve deeper into Assignments Matter, join Eleanor Dougherty for a free ASCD webinar on Thursday, October 11, at 3:00 p.m. eastern time. The webinar episode will provide an overview of the book and explain how to craft assignments that align closely to standards with a particular focus on the Common Core State Standards.

For more information about ASCD, visit To learn more about our books program or to read sample chapters from past books, visit

Contact Information
Julia Liapidova, communications specialist, 1-703-575-5607 or by e-mail.
Stephen Wakefield, communications director, 1-703-575-5764 or by e-mail.

ASCD is the global leader in developing and delivering innovative programs, products, and services that empower educators to support the success of each learner. Comprising 140,000 members—superintendents, principals, teachers, professors, and advocates from more than 143 countries—the ASCD community also includes 55 affiliate organizations. The nonprofit’s diverse, nonpartisan membership is its greatest strength, projecting a powerful, unified voice to decision makers around the world. To learn more about how ASCD supports educators as they learn, teach, and lead, visit

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