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Professional Development

NCREL's comprehensive Web source on teacher professional development provides a full range of information geared to help schools and districts make professional development a bedrock of excellence for student learning. Included in this site are links to NCREL's Professional Development: Learning from the Best toolkit and NCREL's Technology Professional Development Web site. This site is designed for school and district-level teachers, administrators, and others interested in improving professional development.

State Policy on Professional Development: Rethinking the Linkages to Student Outcomes
(August 1999)

As states have begun to consider requests to fund more extensive professional development opportunities for teachers, many state legislators have asked what returns they can expect from their increased investment. This paper develops a preliminary framework that can guide policymakers in focusing their inquiries. The framework is based on the following five questions:

  • Do state policies on professional development recognize the complexity of improving student outcomes?
  • Are state professional development programs linked to student outcomes in coherent ways?
  • Is there evidence that professional development programs have influenced student outcomes?
  • Does the state have a method of accounting for subsidies for professional development?
  • Does the state have a method of linking subsidies for professional development to improvements in student outcomes?

A variety of approaches to answering these questions are explored in this paper, along with an analysis of two states' professional development programs.

State Programs for Funding Teacher Professional Development
(August 1999)

A group of delegates from state legislatures, governor's offices, and state departments of education in the North Central region commissioned this study during a meeting on education policy issues. These delegates were interested in how various states funded teacher professional development—what should be the proper level of funding and the proper mix of state and local funds to support teacher professional development? The study asked states to provide information about state mandates for teacher professional development and continuing education and about the funding of those mandates. The results reported in the study are organized around an analysis of 6 of the 7 states in the NCREL region, along with 13 other states.

NCREL Resource Center

NCREL's Resource Center is a special library with a collection devoted exclusively to educational material. In addition to providing library services for NCREL staff, Resource Center librarians respond to requests for information from anyone interested in educational issues.



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