This report combines research, past experience with urban districts, and deep analysis of three different school systems—Duval County Public Schools, located outside Jacksonville, Florida; District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS); and the charter network Achievement First—to identify six steps school system leaders can take to move beyond traditional professional development training and toward a "professional growth and support" model that is integrated into each system's strategy for instructional improvement. With each step, we describe the strategy, share insights from spending and practice data across school systems, highlight challenges, and provide some tips for taking action.
UPDATE: In 2017, ERS released a new report on teacher professional learning: Igniting the Learning Engine: How school systems accelerate teacher effectiveness and student growth through Connected Professional Learning. Drawing on new case studies of Sanger Unified, in California; District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS); Duval County Public Schools, in Floria; and the charter network Achivement First, we trace how these systems have reorganized resources to create professional learning models that are truly connected to the every day work of teachers and to the district's instructional improvement approach - and are seeing promising student results.
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