Doesn’t it seem that the faster we run, the further behind we get and that the more we have to do, the less we get done? And that the “flatter” the world becomes with increased globalization, the more bridges we need?

Attending the Education Commission of the States (ECS) 2015 National Forum on Education Policy confirmed the need for connections across the education landscape. In fact, ECS and the annual forum are all about reaching across the divisions between practice and policy and between state and federal governments. It was gratifying to hear how many education and policy leaders use the word “bridge” to describe supporting student transitions across the chasms inherent along the educational pipeline from pre-K to career (or “from womb to work” as Sean McComb, the 2014 National Teacher of the Year, stated during his plenary presentation).

We welcomed hearing how so many of those who want to build these bridges agree that curriculum alignment is foundational to their efforts. Whether the bridge is built by aligning learning outcomes, course content and standards, or student expectations across these chasms, the bridges will strengthen the opportunity for every student to take steps from one grade to the next, preparing them to lead a productive life after completing educational goals.

Michael Kirst, President, California State Board of Education, and EPIC Board Member

Kirsten Aspengren, Inflexion Director of Curriculum Alignment, and Melody Schopp, Secretary of Education for South Dakota and ECS Treasurer