Standards-in-Action Resources and Professional Development

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Resources and Professional Development

Addressing the Need for High-Quality Instruction

Standards-in-Action (SIA) was created by the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education to support states' efforts to implement standards in adult education. Standards-based education is rooted in teaching to challenging academic standards—written descriptions of what students are expected to know and be able to do. Through these standards, content expectations are evident to all:

  • Educators understand how they must organize their curriculum, instruction, assessment, and reporting.
  • Students understand the expectations and can be assured of what they will be taught.

By teaching through standards, all students can acquire the knowledge and skills deemed essential for postsecondary education and training, and citizenship.

SIA offers a range of resources and professional development (PD) to make educators full and active partners in implementing standards in classrooms. At the center of the illustration below are state academic standards to prepare students for college and careers — the foundation upon which the SIA education reform rests.

Standards forge a vital link between adult education and the demands of postsecondary education and the world of work. More than adopting standards is required. Aligning curriculum and modernizing instructional practices are indispensable links between a state’s challenging standards and enabling adult learners to meet the demands of the 21st century.

The two outer circles surrounding “Standards” in the illustration below depict SIA’s standards implementation resources and PD. They reinforce and enhance one another to strengthen English language arts (ELA)/literacy, mathematics, and English learner (EL) instruction.

Standards Circle

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Fulfilling the Instructional Shifts: These  foundational-level SIA PD resources provide adult educators with practical knowledge about the key shifts in instruction required to align with college and career readiness (CCR) standards in math, ELA/literacy, and English language acquisition.


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Observing in Classrooms: These SIA PD resources focus on observing effective teaching and learning practices and identifying the training needs of instructors.


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Conducting Curriculum Reviews: These SIA PD resources show adult educators how to determine the degree to which existing curricula align with CCR standards, reflect the instructional shifts, and are high-quality.


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Boosting EL Instruction: These SIA PD resources show adult educators how to move beyond life skills instruction to focus on providing ELs with full access to high-level academic content and language development.


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Sustaining Standards Implementation: The SIA sustainability resources present a strategic framework, based on   significant research, to improve the odds of generating sustained organizational support for a standards-based effort. Two resources — the handbook and two checklists — can assist state and local programs develop step-by-step standards implementation plans.

In recent years, states have moved towards providing deeper, more challenging, and more relevant learning for students. SIA is designed to respond. It aims to meet the needs of adult educators for technical assistance in implementing and sustaining standards in the classroom and improving learner outcomes.

State and facility administrators and instructors can begin with any abovementioned implementation resource to kick-start their standards implementation efforts. They can move on to others to deepen practitioner knowledge and know-how about vital content and research-based instructional strategies.

States can request assistance with any of the SIA resources and PD from experienced SIA trainers through the LINCS Technical Assistance Center. For more information, please email: