Recommendation Four:
Plan PD that is aligned with school and district goals and promotes evaluation and follow-up.


Role Group Strategies:

Develop district or statewide criteria defining effective professional development.

Professional Development Criteria:  A Study Guide for Effective Professional Development
Colorado Statewide Systemic Initiative for Math and Science.  (1997, June)
This study guide is designed to help staff developers make quality decisions about the professional development plans in their schools. The authors articulate goals for professional development and teacher learning and then lead readers through a series of questions to examine or plan a professional development program.

Examining the Teaching Life
Wiggins, Grant and Jay McTigue. (Mar. 2006). Educational Leadership
Grant and McTigue suggest that “learning about learning” should be mandatory and that schools should develop a Learning Bill of Rights that provides criteria for ensuring effective peer review and self assessment. Although they recommend that school staffs develop their own principles, the authors provide nine sample principles to spur discussion. They also discuss how to promote these principles in schools in a way that does not offend individual teachers.

Assessment:  What district policymakers can do
Furger, R.  (2002, January 21). The George Lucas Educational Foundation
This web page outlines 6 steps that district policymakers can take to improve assessment.  Two of the suggested steps are:  Invest in technology to support and enhance assessment, and develop and promote local assessment programs.  In addition to the recommended steps, the page contains links to relevant articles and associations.

NSDC Standards for Staff Development
The National Staff Development Council
The National Staff Development Council is widely recognized as a leader in the area of professional development for educators.  This web link connects to a list of standards developed by the NSDC for professional development opportunities, which are broken into three categories:  Context Standards, Process Standards, and Content Standards.  These standards provide a useful “measuring stick” for communities examining the types of professional development opportunities available to their teachers.

Require every district to complete assessments of professional development programs.

Eight Smooth Steps:  Solid Footwork Makes Evaluation of Staff Development Programs a Song
Killion, J.  (2003, Fall). Journal of Staff Development, 24(4).
Many schools work to provide high-quality professional development opportunities, but fail to evaluate the benefits or achievements of those programs, limiting their overall impact on future professional development planning.  This article outlines an eight step process for evaluating a staff development opportunity.  A link to an accompanying pdf contains questions and worksheets that can be used to assist in evaluation and follow up.

Keeping Professional Learning on Track With Evaluation
The North Central Regional Educational Laboratory.  (2004, Spring).

This newsletter describes five areas on which evaluation of professional development programs should focus: teacher reaction, teacher learning, organizational support, classroom implementation, and student learning outcomes. Under each topic, the authors provide sample surveys and provide instructions on how to use the information gathered.  

The Delivery, Financing, and Assessment of Professional Development in Education:  Pre-service Preparation and In-Service Training
The Finance Project.  (2003, November 2).
This report explains the current context of professional development with regard to the No Child Left Behind Act and summarizes a wide range of information on the requirements, delivery, financing and assessment of professional development for teachers, principals, and superintendents.

Facilitator: 10, Refreshments:  8, Evaluation:  0:  Workshop Satisfaction Misses the Point 
Mizell, H.  (2003, Fall). Journal of Staff Development, 24(4).
Evaluating the impact that staff development has had on the teaching practices within a building is critical to determining a course of action for educators.  Traditionally, however, the evaluation of staff development opportunities is limited in scope, focusing on topics unrelated to student achievement or teaching.  This article details these failed attempts at evaluating professional development, examines the reasons that school-based staff developers continue to use ineffective approaches to evaluation, and outlines a more effective method of evaluating the impact of professional development.  

Provide technical assistance to low-performing districts for the planning and evaluation of professional development.

Design Your Professional Development Program:  Where to Start
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
This tool provides a good starting point for planning high quality professional development.  It contains a comprehensive survey that helps schools and districts to identify areas of need and details many of the best practices in professional development.

Planning and conducting professional development that makes a difference:  A guide for school leaders. 
Southern Regional Education Board.  (2002)
This guide outlines a step-by-step approach to conceiving, creating, developing, implementing and evaluating school-level professional development opportunities.

Professional Development:  Learning From the Best
Hassel, E.  (n.d.). The North Central Regional Educational Laboratory.
This toolkit includes step-by-step directions and "action planner tools" for designing, implementing, evaluating, improving and sharing professional development. Detailed appendices describe the criteria for the US Department of Education's National Awards Program for Professional development, profiles of winning schools, and summaries of resources and research.

Sustaining School Improvement:  Professional Development
Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning.  (2003).
This document outlines the key elements of effective professional development programs, offers strategies that school leadership teams can use when establishing professional development programs, provides a rubric for evaluating professional development within a school and shares a ‘success story’ from Witters/Lucerne Elementary School in Thermopolis, Wyoming.

Designing Powerful Professional Development for Teachers and Principals
Sparks, D.  (2002). National Staff Development Council.
This book, provided free of charge on NSDC’s website, outlines the critical components of effective professional learning programs and the steps that schools and districts should take to ensure that the professional growth of their teachers and principals is maximized.  Topics covered include:  Setting the stage for powerful professional learning, providing a context for professional learning, developing school leaders, and developing teachers.



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