Recommendation One:

Ensure professional development provides teachers with the knowledge and skills necessary to work with all learners.


Role Group Strategies:

Learn about the changing nature of schooling, and support professional development for educators that increases instructional capacity and student achievement.

Helping Every Student Succeed: Schools and Communities Working Together
Study Circles Resources Center (2002).
This tool explains how study circles engage community members in school improvement efforts and provides the discussion materials necessary for a series of four study groups. Group discussions begin with consideration of what each participant considers a “good education” and progresses to deciding upon specific actions for change.

Test Your Professional Development IQ
The National Staff Development Council. (2003, August/September)
Understanding the capacity of a professional development program takes understanding and reflection.  Simply implementing professional development with little reflection can minimize the benefits of any PD program.  This tool, created by the National Staff Development Council, allows school leaders and community members to evaluate their understanding of quality professional development and to reflect on the nature of effective learning experiences for teachers.

Professional Development: A Primer for Parents and Community Members
The Finance Project and the Public Education Network
This primer explains the basic concepts behind professional development for teachers, describes characteristics of high-quality programs, and outlines the role parents and community members can play in ensuring high-quality professional development.

What’s going on in my child’s school:  A parent’s guide to good schools.
Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (2000)
The schools that our children attend look significantly different than the schools of previous generations.  Often, this difference can cause concern in parents who are unfamiliar with the nature of today’s schools.  This resource is designed to introduce parents to best practices in education.  It outlines effective instructional practice and details the kinds of professional development that teachers must engage in to improve student learning.


Make the professional development of teachers a focus of businesses and community organizations.  Conduct a “Community Inventory” to identify and promote professional learning resources available within the community, and create “Community Liaison” positions designed to facilitate communication between schools and available community resources.


"Finding Common Ground:  Working with the Community to Provide High-Quality Professional Development"
Teachers take charge of their learning: Transforming professional development for student success

Renyi, J.  (1996). 
The NEA Foundation for the Improvement of Education
A portion of this guide to professional development is dedicated to engaging the community in efforts to improve teacher development and student learning. The author describes successful partnerships in specific schools and districts that involve parents or businesses and other professionals in student and teacher learning. It also includes a series of recommendations for creating a "network of learners" consisting of students, parents, teachers, and the community.

Partnership pays off for business and schools
Curtis, D. (2000, September 1). Edutopia Online. The George Lucas Foundation.
The Bayer Corporation has established one of the most successful business-education partnerships in their “Making Science Make Sense” program.  This article from the George Lucas Educational Foundation outlines the program which provides professional development opportunities for teachers and content-based presentations to students in schools across America.

Create school-community partnerships designed to provide teachers with knowledge and technical expertise.  Develop “Teacher-in-Residence” and “Teacher-on-Loan” programs with businesses, museums, universities, and academic organizations, immersing teachers in current professional content knowledge and scholarship.

Business Partnership Resource Page.
The George Lucas Educational Foundation.
This webpage features articles on how businesses can become involved in schools and the benefits of these partnerships. Articles and video clips profile successful programs in which companies provide grants, speakers, field trips, mentoring or job shadowing opportunities for students.

Connecting with Experts in the Real World
Demee-Benoit, D.  (1999, September 1). Edutopia Online. The George Lucas Educational Foundation
This article outlines several outreach programs from science centers, zoos, aquaria, botanical gardens and natural history museums that are providing professional development to teachers.  Such partnerships can help schools to provide the kinds of instruction necessary to improve student achievement and to promote deep levels of content knowledge among their teachers.

Los Angeles Educational Partnership.
The George Lucas Educational Foundation.
Established in 1984 by a group of business, community and education leaders, the Los Angeles Education Partnership is a collaborative designed to support the Los Angeles Public School System.  The group supports schools in a variety of ways, including providing professional development for and facilitating collaboration between educators.  It also involves teachers in reforming curriculum, instruction and assessment.  This link connects to a short description of the Partnership that provides contact information and a direct link to the Partnership’s homepage.

Community Partnership Resource Page
The George Lucas Educational Foundation.
This webpage provides a variety of resources from the George Lucas Educational Foundation (GLEF) on school and community partnerships.  It includes articles describing programs in specific school districts and research on the importance of community involvement in general.

Critical Issue:  Establishing Collaboratives and Partnerships
Peterson, K.  (1995). North Central Regional Educational Laboratory
This Critical Issue Report outlines ways in which school administrators can make connections to community groups, enlisting their partnership in addressing many of the non-academic issues that interfere with student achievement. It recommends "action options," describes implementation pitfalls, profiles a number of schools successfully engaging the community, and provides an extensive list of resources and contacts.

Developing Effective Partnerships to Support Local Education
School Communities that Work: A National Taskforce on the
Future of Urban Districts (2002).
This paper describes design and operating principles used in effective education and community partnerships. The authors emphasize that partnerships should focus on equity in addition to results and aim to affect youth engagement and development.

Supporting good schools is good business
Goldberg, M.  (2003, September 23). Edutopia Online. The George Lucas Educational Foundation
This article outlines the importance of business support for schools. It describes the kinds of supports that businesses can provide, from monetary contributions to lobbying policymakers, and explains the role that businesses can play in the professional growth and learning of teachers.


If you have other resources to add or thoughts to share,
please email

data analysis | time | leadership | empowerment | prof development | facilities & resource