When the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed into law in December, we celebrated that it included an improved definition of professional learning even as we asked educators to create professional learning systems that see that definition as necessary but not sufficient.
As a member of Learning Forward’s PD Redesign Community of Practice, Riverside Unified School District is seeking a systematic way to evaluate the impact of professional development on teachers in their district. Learn more about how the Riverside Team is resolving issues like overlapping programs and finding time for the PD Redesign work.
Truly changing one’s own practice takes a focused commitment, and the support of a coach can significantly increase the likelihood of success. That’s one of the big takeaways from Learning Forward’s experience facilitating 33 Academy cohorts. As we reviewed the survey data from our most recent Academy graduates, we were pleased to read that close to 90% of them reported their practice becoming more effective as a result of the Academy experience.
The TeachStrong campaign has rallied leading education groups around nine key principles to draw more attention to the national imperative to invest in teaching and teachers. The principle we most embrace is the imperative to provide teachers with the time, tools, and support needed for success.
Overall, we are satisfied with the definition that is included in Every Student Succeeds Act, though we believe that effective professional learning requires more than what the bill describes.
Emerging evidence around how students learn is so dynamic that thoughtful educators must continually recalibrate their teaching and hone their practice just to keep up with the latest scientific learning research.