Welcome to Raising the Bar on Instruction

by Matthew Nathan

As educators, we’re constantly working to help students develop a lifelong love of learning, by building the skills and character to embrace self-initiative, responsibility, and problem solving that lead to success in school, career, and life.

The Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards offer us exciting opportunities to do so. While the new standards carry a lot of promising potential, they also compel us to meet a higher level of rigor in daily instructional practice as we raise our expectations for what K-12 students learn and how they are taught.

Now more than ever, educators nationwide need access to top-notch professional development, curriculum support, and just-in-time resources to guide their work with students. This just-launched Raising the Bar on Instruction (RTB) website is one of WestEd’s many ways of supporting educators in this important (yet daunting) undertaking.

The RTB website is all about highly effective instruction, giving you:

  • Free, high-quality, research-based multimedia resources from nationally recognized content and pedagogy experts
  • Tools for planning highly effective professional development and consultation to support standards implementation
  • Opportunities to collaborate, share ideas, and interact with peers and other content and teaching specialists
  • Guidance on thinking about and using resources at the school, district, and state levels
  • Information about professional development, technical assistance, consultation, research, and evaluation services from WestEd, one of the nation’s most highly regarded nonprofit oganizations for research, development, and services.

RTB is organized by content area, allowing you to quickly find resource collections, tools, blogs, highlighted events, and services that can help you with Common Core implementation efforts in English language arts and mathematics. We designed this website to make it easy and fast for you to get right to the information you want and need. For example, tabs can take you directly to research-based resources and services organized by content area, or you can use the filter tool to search the resource bank for just what you need.

With the website launch, our focus starts with tools for Common Core implementation. Resources and support for Next Generation Science Standards will be available soon, so please check back often.

We encourage you to bookmark this RTB site, subscribe for updates, and use the resources available now and in the future. The content on this site is based on proven research, has been vetted by high standards of rigor by nationally respected content and pedagogy experts, and most of it is free of charge. WestEd is dedicated to supporting the field with best-in-class tools and services, many of which you'll find on the RTB website.

Teaching to the new standards is a noble effort. And a hard one. We’re here to help you in your work to provide highly effective professional development with educators, develop and implement curriculum and assessments, and deliver world-class instruction for your K-12 students. Go exploring and learn how you can use Raising the Bar on Instruction to best meet your individual needs!