February 2014 Vol. 35. No. 1

February 2014

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The Learning Professional

Published Date

In This Issue



Conference Highlights  http://community.learningforward.org/home Catch the highlights from the 2013 Annual Conference in Dallas. Videos of keynote speeches and thought leader lectures include Michael Fullan on maximizing impact, Linda Darling-Hammond on teacher evaluation done right, and Gwendolyn Webb-Hasan on culturally responsive teaching. Or participate in post-conference webinars, e-learning programs, and ongoing discussions with session presenters and...

 District Dives Into Data To Improve Feedback

A group of educators and community members gain an understanding of how best to gather feedback to make informed decisions about future professional learning and how feedback data serve different audiences.

 A Vivid Illustration Of Leadership

At a high-needs, high-poverty school that made remarkable improvements in student achievement, the relationship between leadership, classroom teaching, and learning is illustrated in vivid color when a first-year principal turns the school into an organization that values learning and embraces change.

 From The Director

From the director, By Stephanie Hirsh (Available to the public.)


What It Takes to Succeed. This issue of JSD examines schools and school systems in a range of contexts and circumstances that have made great strides in taking student learning to higher levels. While each success story is unique, some common themes emerge. Aim Higher: Lofty goals and an aligned system keep a high performer on...

 Digital Resource Library

Digital resource library

 On Board

Turning belief into action

 Book Club

Book Club

 Looking For Member Feedback

Looking for member feedback

 Collaborative Culture

A strong, trusting community is an important element of a school safety plan. (Available to the public.)

 Lessons From Research

Professional learning’s spillover effect is real — and a real opportunity for school and system leaders. (Available to the public.)


Problem-solving protocol. (Available to the public.)


Stronger teaching, Performance assessment, Transition to Common Core, Evaluation, Teacher support, A coherent approach, Education technology

 From The Editor

From the editor, By Tracy Crow (Available to the public.)

 Nurture Hidden Talents

Many school cultures are not conducive to dialogue that supports displays of teacher talent. School leaders need to pay attention to — and invest in — their most valuable asset: the cognitive capital of teachers.

 United We Learn

A Minnesota high school ensures that all students have equitable access to high-quality, rigorous instruction through a collaborative approach that clearly identifies the elements of instruction needed in every classroom.

 'Failure Is Not An Option'

A small, rural high school in Michigan moves from the bottom 5% of schools in student achievement to the 92nd percentile by designing a transformation plan that uses Learning Forward’s Standards for Professional Learning as a guide. (Available to the public.)

 Experts In The Classroom

Teacher-directed action research projects impact student achievement through the Asheville (N.C.) City Schools Foundation Innovation Fellows program.

 Growing Leaders From Within

Barrington High School in Illinois fosters teacher autonomy, focuses on deep learning, and builds a community of practice to empower literacy leaders schoolwide.

 High Achieving Schools Put Equity Front And Center

How does professional learning look and feel in high-poverty schools where every student makes at least one year’s worth of progress every year? A look at four schools reveals how equity is linked to professional learning. (Available to the public.)

 Ontario District Embraces An Evolving Approach To Learning

The York Region District School Board in Ontario, Canada, cultivates a culture of collaboration and continuous learning that focuses on improved student achievement and well-being.

 Aim Higher

A Pennsylvania district with high student achievement maintains its success through differentiated instruction, administrative support, and a mutual commitment to maximizing student learning.

 What It Takes To Succeed

This issue of JSD examines schools and school systems that have made great strides in taking student learning to higher levels. While each success story is unique, some common themes emerge. (Available to the public.)

 Up Close

Lessons from all over, How do the Standards for Professional Learning contribute to high performance?, What’s inside

Recent Issues

August 2020

Technology constantly creates new opportunities for professional learning. Never have those developments been as important as they are now, during the COVID-19 pandemic. This issue examines how strategies like online mentoring, bug-in-ear coaching, virtual collaboration, and video observation have built educator capacity before and during the pandemic.

June 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed school as we know it. As we face an unpredictable future, professional learning has never been more urgent. This issue highlights some of the ways educators are learning and evolving to meet the shifting needs of students and staff as schools close, shift online, reopen, and prepare for whatever lies ahead.

April 2020

Learning professionals challenge themselves to stretch and grow while staying grounded in the fundamentals. This issue is about achieving a solid foothold in best practices so you can succeed with the basics and beyond.

February 2020

Student needs are at the center of strong professional learning and excellent teaching, but student voices rarely are. This issue examines how students’ perspectives can inform professional learning and what educators can gain as a result. It goes straight to the source to share insights from student authors as well as educators.