Friday, April 25, 2008

education standards are hot

What's hot and what's not at the moment in education is often connected to education publishing wants and needs.

In a recent blog I wrote about why freelance writers should be aware of state and national standards. For example, if you are a non-fiction writer for children, standards will give you an idea what subjects teachers are required to teach for science and social studies. The standards influence choices teachers and librarians make when choosing books, teacher resources, and curriculum supplements. Think about it...if every child in the U.S. learns about the butterfly cycle at some point during the primary grades, publishers need to continue producing butterfly books and teaching materials so teachers don't get tired of using the same old stuff.

During the past week I had some time to kill in a school library. The librarian had stacks and stacks of catalogs, so I poured a cup of coffee and tooks extensive notes while looking through dozens of education publishers catalogs. You should try it! Very informative. It's extremely rare to find a catalog that doesn't claim to align their fiction and non-fiction books and curriculum products to state and national standards.

Here are some links to National standards you can bookmark or print out:

TESOL Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages

NCTM National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

NCTEStandards for the Language Arts sponsored by the National Council of Teachers of English and the International Reading Association

NETS National Education Technology Standards

NSES National Science Education standards

NASPE National Association for Sports and Physical Education

Editors ask me to work with state standards, too. I can usually find each state's standards by googling the name of the state followed by "standards". There is often a link to the standards on each state's department of education website.

So tell me, do you use state and national standards when you write?


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