School and District Level
Ensuring Professional Development Meets Standards
- Assess whether school- and district-level professional development includes a focus on standards, international standards, alignment of standards to instruction and assessment, use of formative assessments, differentiated instruction and targeting individual student needs, including the use of self-assessments, supervisor assessments/evaluations and school- or district-level assessments.
Professional Development Planning and Delivery
- Make benchmarking to international standards a professional development priority.
- Create individualized professional development plans for every teacher and administrator that are updated at least annually, supported by student achievement data and aligned to international standards.
- Utilize the professional development standards by the National Staff Development Council (see Additional Resources).
- Access existing professional development that fills the gaps identified in the individualized professional development plans and address alignment to international standards.
- Develop and approve professional development plans for every school in the district and for the district as a whole that are updated at least annually, supported by student achievement data and aligned to international standards.
- Create a coordinated system of inservice strategies and practices that establish and enhance teachers’ ability to assist students to perform successfully when compared to international standards.
- Design and provide professional development to “re-tool” existing educators in content and instructional delivery, especially in gap areas.
- Establish quality professional learning communities (PLCs) by providing dedicated time and structures to promote adult growth directly linked to student learning (refer to PLC/TLC ideas and resources in Section II – Teaching Quality, School and District Level).
- Establish a system that uses formative assessments of teacher knowledge and skills to better target professional development and support, professional advancement and sustained employment.
- Establish a public-private partnership to develop, pilot and implement a district-wide academy to enhance the knowledge, skills and leadership of school and district administrators to more successfully integrate international benchmarks.
Professional Development Content
- Develop and/or consistently participate in professional development on the use of classroom formative assessments aligned to international standards to assess student progress and inform instructional changes that will address individual student learning needs.
- Assess each teacher’s professional development needs. The professional development should include a focus on standards, international standards, alignment of standards to instruction and assessment, use of formative assessments, differentiated instruction, and targeting individual student’s needs, including the use of self-assessments, supervisor assessments/evaluations and school- or district-level assessments.
- Ensure that professional development on differentiated instruction is provided.
- Review the work of Carol Ann Tomlinson, a former elementary teacher, Teacher of the Year, and current education professor at the University of Virginia, who is considered a leading expert in the field of differentiated learning. For more information on Carol Tomlinson’s work, see the Additional Resources at the end of this section.