Published from 2005 to 2013, this newsletter focuses on the context that makes effective professional
learning possible across an entire system of schools.


Teams have an intelligence of their own that is independent of the individual intelligence of the members. In other words, adding up the talent of each individual member doesn’t necessarily total the team’s ability to perform. Read how some groups are smarter than others, how you can select a smart team, and how to raise that team’s group IQ.

For Jack Linton, assistant superintendent for Petal Schools, the most important resource for effectively implementing Common Core standards is time for teacher learning communities. Read how he makes time districtwide for Common Core implementation, and discover new tools to help you find the time needed for effective professional learning

The New York State United Teachers association led teams of teachers and district administrators from six districts in researching and designing a new teacher evaluation system that includes meaningful dialogues and plans for continued professional learning. Read how the teams transformed the old system from one relying on sole administrator observations to one that incorporates comprehensive, meaningful reviews that involve multiple measures of teacher performance designed to promote teacher learning and growth.

The professional learning team at Lyons Township High School District 204 in La Grange, Ill., believes in the power of teacher-led professional learning. Read how a group of teachers and administrators united to develop a cooperative professional learning system.

Feedback conversations are often sources of anxiety that can hinder the learning and improvement process, so how the feedback is delivered is as critical as what is being delivered. Learn how to turn givers and receivers of feedback in your system into growth agents who explore and improve practice through data-driven, inquiry-based conversations.

Teacher satisfaction has reached its lowest point in 22 years, according to the new MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Teachers, Parents and the Economy. Meanwhile, the community school model is continuing to grow in popularity, thanks in part to its high rate of student success and teacher satisfaction. While the focus of community schools is on students and their communities, a close examination reveals three key elements that contribute to teacher and principal satisfaction while aligning with principles of high-quality professional learning.

Peering across international borders for education success stories has become increasingly popular recently. However, contextual and cultural factors in other nations make replicating a transplanted model next to impossible. Read how Michael Fullan offers a lens through which education leaders can examine international models on a systemic level to find lessons that can be adapted on a local level.

According to research, after the classroom teacher, principals have the most direct effect on student achievement. That means that for districts to have the greatest effect on student learning, central office should focus some effort on supporting frontline administrators. Explore four specific ways that districts can support principals to enhance their learning and leadership ability.

Research has linked increases in family involvement to improved student attendance, behavior, and learning. Read how the National Network of Partnership Schools connects schools, districts, and state departments with researchers and facilitators to help bridge the gap between research and practice in family and community involvement.

World-class district: Missouri district credits professional learning for international distinction.

The new catalog: An evolution of professional development

Teacher evaluation: An opportunity to leverage learning at all levels

New emphasis on new teacher support: Texas district's pilot program aligns learning at all levels

The changing role of central office staff: Administrators provide a crucial link to learning resources

High-impact coaching ensures maximum results: Build a strong infrastructure by clarifying program goals

Lock in the power of collaboration: Higher student literacy scores show Iowa district the benefits of teacher learning teams

Imagine the possibilities: 2020 forecast explores 6 change Forces that will shape the future of learning

Superintendent stays on course with personal learning plan

Principal-coaches transform teachers and schools

District pulls together in pursuit of excellence: Creating collaboration systemwide requires commitment