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Improving the Skills and Knowledge of the High School Teachers We Already Have PDF - While numerous state efforts seek to recruit, train and retain more teachers, fewer initiatives focus on developing teachers, particlarly high school teachers, once they enter the classroom. This policy brief examines seven high-leverage components to strengthen teacher professional development at the high school level and provides state policy suggestions for each. (Jennifer Dounay and Kathy Christie, Education Commission of the States, October 2008)...

Time for Teachers: Leveraging Expanded Time to Strengthen Instruction and Empower Teachers - Expanding time for collaboration, peer coaching, learning new content and student data review can boost teacher effectiveness and student achievement. A report looked at 17 high-poverty schools that averaged 300 more school-year hours than the national average of 1,170. Teachers at these schools taught 60 percent of the time as opposed to the 80 percent averaged by U.S. teachers. The international average for countries reporting to the OECD is 67 percent. (Claire Kaplan et al., National Center on Time and Learning, May 2014)...

Online Professional Learning Quality Checklist - A handy tool to help educators evaluate the quality of online professional development opportunities, this checklist first lists general principles of effective practice in online professional learning. It then breaks into the possible variations with a list of criteria to judge each one: webinars, hashtag Twitter chats, online conferences, MOOCs, e-courses and online communities of practice. (Office of Educational Technology, February 2014)...

Using Teacher Evaluation Data to Inform Professional Development in the Intensive Partnership Sites - Implementation of professional development continues to evolve at the seven sites of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Intensive Partnerships for Effective Teaching initiative. The sites are modifying their approaches to professional development to offer more individualized opportunities and to use evaluation results as guidance for determining professional development offerings. Majorities of teachers expressed positive opinions about the validity of the evaluation measures, but they point out a number of perceived problems. (Laura S. Hamilton et al., Using Teacher Evaluation Data to Inform Professional Development in the Intensive Partnership Sites, February 2014)...

Summary of Research on the Effectiveness of Math Professional Development Approaches - Of 643 studies conducted in the United States related to professional development interventions for teachers of K-12 math, five met What Works Clearinghouse standards with or without reservations. Of those five, two found positive effects on students' math proficiency. This means there is limited evidence to guide districts and schools in selecting an approach, or to support developers' claims. Districts and schools must use best judgment until more causal evidence becomes available. (Russell Gerston, et al., National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, REL Southeast, January 2014)...

Can Online Learning Communities Achieve the Goals of Traditional Professional Learning Communities? What the Literature Says - Research finds flexibility is the greatest advantage of online learning communities and by and large, online communities of teachers can achieve the same goals as traditional learning communities. The online learning community is better at promoting self-reflection, but worse in that teachers' motivation to engage peers and contribute regularly is worse than in a face-to-face group. (Cynthia L. Blitz,National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, September 2013)...

Educating the Next Generation of Massachusetts Teachers: Building Effective Partnerships in Preparation and Support - In this policy perspective, the Rennie Center presents a new three-year model for post-baccalaureate teacher preparation and development aimed at improving the quality of the educator workforce statewide. The model proposed focuses on partnerships at the district level to achieve joint accountability for the training of a majority of teachers working in the Commonwealth. The "New Partnership-based Model for Massachusetts Teacher Preparation" is built on evidence-based practices in teacher preparation and development, and may serve as a framework for preparation programs in the state through which all teacher candidates can train. (Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy, June 2012)...

Effects of the Connected Mathematics Project 2 (CMP2) on the Mathematics Achievement of Grade 6 Students in the Mid-Atlantic Region - This study examines the effects of Connected Mathematics Project 2 (CMP2) on grade 6 student mathematics achievement and engagement. It responds to a need to improve mathematics learning in the Mid-Atlantic Region. However, the researchers found that CMP2 did not have a statistically significant effect on grade 6 mathematics achievement. (National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, March 2012)...

An Interaction-Based Approach to Enhancing Secondary School Instruction and Student Achievement - A quick review of a study that examines the effect of a secondary school teacher training and coaching program (MTP-S) on student achievement. While the program showed no effect on student achievement during the intervention year, a statistically significant effect was recorded in the post-intervention year with an increase in student achievement from the 50th to the 59th percentile. (Institute of Education Sciences, Feb 2012)...

Movin' It and Improvin' It! -- Using Both Education Strategies to Increase Teaching Effectiveness - This report considers how teacher evaluations should be used in order to increase teacher effectiveness. While most schools use strategies that move ineffective teachers out through transfers and dismissals and bring effective teachers in through recruitment and incentive pay, the author suggests that these strategies must be coupled with proven professional development program that will help current teachers improve. (Center for American Progress, Jan 2012)...

Teaching Children Well: New Evidence-Based Approaches to Teacher Professional Development and Training - This report illustrates features of new evidence-supported approaches to professional development that have the promise for closing not only the evidence gap, but the achievement gap, as well. The focus is on one web-based, scalable approach to professional development, MyTeachingPartner, or MTP. (Robert Pianta, Center for American Progress, November 2011)...

Positive Effects of Literacy Collaborative on Teaching and Student Learning: A Federally Funded Value-Added Study - A four-year longitudinal study of teaching and student achievement resulted in the following primary findings: (1) Students' average rates of learning in grades K-2 increased by 16% in the first implementation year, 28% in the second and 32% in the third year; (2) Teacher expertise increased substantially and the rate of improvement was predicted by the amount of coaching a teacher received; and (3) Professional communication amongst teachers in the schools increased over the three years and the literacy coordinators became more central in their schools' communication networks. (Literacy Collaborative, March 2010)...

The MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Collaborating for Student Success - 2009 - This survey examines the views of teachers, principals and students about respective roles and responsibilities, current practice and priorities for the future. The survey findings were released as a series during the first quarter of 2010 with the following parts:

  • Part 1-Effective Teaching and Leadership
  • examines views about responsibility and accountability and what collaboration looks like in schools;
  • Part 2-Student Achievement
  • examines views on student goals, teacher expectations and increasing student achievement;
  • Part 3-Teaching as a Career
  • examines collaboration in the context of teacher professional growth, experience level and career path. (MetLife, 2010) ...

    Professional Learning in the Learning Profession—A Status Report on Teacher Development in the U.S. and Abroad: Technical Report - Comparisons of American teachers’ participation in professional development with that of teachers in the international community demonstrate that the United States is substantially behind other OECD nations in providing the kinds of powerful professional learning opportunities that are more likely to build their capacity and have significant Impacts on student learning. (National Staff Development Council and the School Redesign Network, February 2009)...

    Yale National Initiative to Strengthen Teaching in Public Schools - The initiative is a long-term endeavor to establish Teachers Institutes in most states that will provide state and local policymakers effective examples of the innovative Institute approach to their own communities. (Yale University, 2004)...


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