Got PD?

If you're one of those professional development freaks who just can't get enough (you know who you are), check out the new set of clippings that Hayes Mizell has recently started sending out (click below) and send him an email (at hmizell@msn.com) if you want to sign up. Mizell has done a lot of work with the NSDC, as well as before that on middle schools and with the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation.


Here's the most recent example:

PD in the News:
Selected News Reports about Forces Shaping
What and How Teachers Learn

2/2/06 Rhode Island
Math, Science Top [Governor’s] Education Plan
Governor Carcieri unveiled his education agenda for the coming year yesterday, reiterating his push to ‘move forward boldly, rapidly’ in the areas of math and science education ... He also outlined plans to strengthen professional development for teachers and to create a system for evaluating their performance ... Spokespeople from the state's two teacher unions, the Rhode Island chapters of the American Federated Teachers and the National Education Association, said ... adding professional development days to teachers' school schedules should be left to individual districts, they said, not mandated by the state. ‘What Providence needs is probably different than what a wealthy district needs,’ said Larry Purtil, NEA's president. Carcieri wants to extend a teacher's school year to 190 days; current teacher contracts range from about 180 days to 187 days.”

2/14/06 West Virginia
Sometimes, Teachers Need to Learn, Too
“A new century calls for new ideas. That was the goal of this forum for teachers to provide comments on how the West Virginia School Board can better educate youngsters in the 21st century. ‘We need to address how teachers will gain the needed skills,’ says Williamstown Elementary schoolteacher Esther Lauderman, ‘to do things differently in the classrooms.’ And it isn't just about technology. It's about things like better problem-solving skills. And teachers who've attended similar forums elsewhere in the state say that involves more planning. ‘More professional development time is needed for our teachers in order to develop teaching methodologies to get at the teaching of these 21st Century skills for kids,’ says State Schools Superintendent Steven Paine, who participated in Monday's forum. ‘And when you talk about more professional development time, you can't help but talk about money.’ But Lauderman says dollars aren't the entire answer. ‘I think it can be done with more creativity in talking about the school day,’ she says, ‘and how we can restructure that a little more differently, to give the teachers time for collaboration, for being part of a learning community. I think that can be done within the confines of a school day.’’’

2/14/06 West Virginia
Computer Needed for Each Student, State Told
“History teacher [Robin Chaney’s] thoughts mirror what officials have been hearing as they continue to travel the state today for a series of forums. The forums are geared to find out from those already in the trenches how to better prepare students and teachers for the classroom. The initiative is part of West Virginia’s Partnership for 21st Century Skills, which is focused on the future of the state’s schools, and ultimately its workforce... Chaney took part in the first forum in Putnam County, where eight of 12 groups said they need more meaningful staff development. Teachers are required to have 18 hours of training a year. ‘Just continuing education and professional development won’t work,’ she said. ‘You can’t have a two-hour drive-by type of session.’’

2/17/06 Loveland, CO
Welcome Help
“An anonymous donor has given the Thompson School District $200,000 to provide teachers with more tools for helping students succeed. The donor has promised an additional $100,000 if the district can come up with its own $100,000, said Superintendent Dan Johnson. ‘We have already sought one other grant,’ Johnson said, adding the Board of Education has made professional development for teachers a high priority and will likely set aside money for the match. Board President Robert Towles concurred. ‘The board feels very strongly professional development is one of the things that makes us successful and our teachers ... better prepared and trained,’ he said. The money will educate teachers about four successful programs for promoting literacy, math skills and critical thinking and provide ongoing support as educators adapt techniques to their classrooms, Johnson said ... The money will allow the district to hire coaches to help teachers implement strategies successfully, he said. ‘It’s not going to be a one-shot deal. It’s designed to be ongoing support for teachers,’ he said. With the help of the grant, teachers will gain the following classroom tools, according to Johnson: • Support from the Public Education and Business Coalition, a Colorado program that shows teachers how to think critically about what their students know and discover ways to help them learn more effectively. • The Paul and Elder critical-thinking model now used successfully at Winona Elementary School, which challenges children to improve their thinking skills. • Comprehensive Early Literacy Learning, a program that promotes development of strong literacy skills at all grade levels. • Schools Attuned — An assessment that targets student strengths and weaknesses and helps teachers build on a student’s strengths while showing them how to overcome difficulties.”

2/13/06 Albuquerque, NM
Grant to Help Train Teachers to Improve Student Writing
“[The University of New Mexico] has received a $30,000 grant from the National Writing Project to improve student writing and learning. Funding will establish the High Desert Writing Project, an opportunity for Albuquerque-area teachers to participate in summer and school year programs focused on improving writing skills. The High Desert Writing Project summer institute will be held from June 1 to June 30. Participating teachers will study successful classroom strategies to teach writing, read and discuss research, and improve their knowledge of writing by writing themselves.

Leading the writing project is Richard Meyer, professor of Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Studies at the UNM College of Education. Meyer believes Albuquerque is an excellent site for the project because it includes the largest school district in the state and has a diverse student population. The project will also serve teachers and students in nearby counties. The National Writing Project, a federally funded professional development program with 189 sites, provided more than 6,000 programs for K-16 teachers across the country in the 2003-04 school year.”

2/17/06 Framingham, MA
Summer Institute for Teachers
“Salem State College has been awarded a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to host a summer institute for school teachers, ‘The Visual Culture of Colonial New England.’ This institute will bring together 25 K-12 teachers in a four-week-long institute. The institute is directed by Patricia Johnston, professor of art history at Salem State College, and will feature faculty from the history, English, geography and art departments, as well as two master teachers and nationally-known guest speakers. Participating teachers will receive a $3,000 stipend and PDP credits. They will also have the option of taking the class for graduate credit from Salem State College ... The institute's 25 participants will tour significant archeological sites on the North Shore of Massachusetts, including sites associated with the witch trials in Danvers and the reconstruction of the first iron works in Saugus. Many of the sessions will be held at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem. In addition, participants will study key works of colonial visual culture at other New England locations including Plymouth Plantation in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and the Africa-American Meeting House, the Paul Revere House, the Massachusetts Historical Society and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. The institute will examine four main themes: the built environment, the visual culture of the sea, the visual culture of religion and education and domestic interiors. This is the third year that the College has been awarded this prestigious grant to support teacher's professional development.”

2/16/06 Madison, IN
Good Teachers Never Stop Learning (editorial)
“Good teachers are a precious resource whether they perform at the preschool, elementary, secondary or post-secondary levels. And, good teachers know that learning never ends and knowledge is something that no one can take away. An example of excellence in education involves four Southwestern Elementary School teachers and two Hanover College faculty members who have developed a partnership that will benefit educators and students across the state. The Southwestern and Hanover teachers worked together on several science-related programs with the backing of the Hoosier Association of Science Teachers, Inc. How wonderful that our local teachers have an opportunity to share ideas with their counterparts at a respected college. And congratulations to Hanover College for its willingness to make its faculty members available. The effort, named Science Training Actively Reaches Students, or S.T.A.R.S., is funded through a $227,000 federal Math and Science Partnership grant. It provides two-week summer institutes at Hanover College for Southwestern Elementary teachers and support staff ... The partnership’s mission is simple - as teachers get better, student achievement will increase.”

2/17/06 Broward County, FL
Education Leaders Will Be Honored
“Marina Rashid, the principal at Eagle Ridge Elementary School, established Mini Child Study Meetings. She meets with teachers and support team members to analyze student baseline data and then, using a clinical approach, a unique academic plan is devised to meet each student's needs ... [She] also established TEAM Thursdays. Teachers participate in staff development and collaborative activities for an hour each Thursday while students participate in elective classes such as Spanish, chorus, drama or video production, according to the district.”

2/14/06 Tecumseh, MI
Kindergarten Changes Proposed Again ...
“After retracting a proposed half-day, every day kindergarten program last year, administrators presented to the Tecumseh school board on Monday a proposal to offer parents a choice of full-day or half-day kindergarten along with preschool and latch-key programs. Board members liked what they heard of the program ... Also in the proposal is continued professional development for the district's elementary teachers with consultant Bob Sornson, who implemented an early intervention program in the Northville schools when he was an administrator there. The result was ‘significant’ financial savings as the district reduced its number of special education students by catching learning disabilities early, [an elementary school principal said].”

2/15/06 La Crosse, WI
Credit-Based Training for Childcare Workers Goes Forward Without State Mandate
“La Crosse early childhood workers aren’t waiting for the state of Wisconsin to tell them to raise standards for professional development. They’re doing it already ... About 70 people working primarily with children ages 3 to 6 have been attending Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standard Training — for college credit, if they wish — at Family Resources. ‘Quality Care for Quality Kids’ was proposed by Gov. Jim Doyle during the last budget cycle ... Had it passed, a rating system, including requiring credit-based courses, would have started ... ‘The item was taken out of the budget, but everyone is convinced this area of professional development and early learning is going to come back,’ said Kathie Tyser, La Crosse School District associate superintendent for instruction ... ‘(The) training is all about helping those working in childcare and early childhood education to understand (what) the best practices are for young children and how to optimize that and make (them) work,’ Widuch said.”

2/15/06 Tucson, AZ
Class Sizes in Early Grades Cut ...
‘‘The Tucson Unified School District governing board unanimously approved late Tuesday a plan to keep small kindergarten class sizes for a second year at schools in which students have struggled — and expand the measure to include all kindergarten and some first-grade classes in the district. The plan will cost $5.6 million next school year to bring class sizes from 24 students per teacher down to 18 in kindergarten and from 29 students per teacher to 18 in first grade ... ‘If you want to give children a good start, this is were to do it,’ said David Yaden, a professor of language, reading and culture at the University of Arizona's College of Education. But he added, ‘Just reducing the class size but not having trained people in the classroom won't do it.’ That's why TUSD officials also are stressing that the plan will include training and professional development for teachers in the affected classes, with coaching, peer evaluations and teacher collaboration.”

2/13/06 Champaign, IL
Early Childhood Education the Subject at ... Public Forum
“The education of young children will be the topic at a public forum Feb. 25, the third in a series at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ... In Illinois, the number of children attending state-funded pre-kindergarten programs has grown rapidly in recent years, early learning standards are being implemented statewide, and a new professional development system has been established, called Gateways to Opportunity ... The forum will explore the implications of these and other developments, as well as other issues related to early childhood education in central Illinois ... The scheduled presenters are Kay Henderson, head of the Early Childhood Division of the Illinois State Board of Education; Lilian Katz, U. of I. professor emerita of early childhood education; Mark Obuchowski, professional development adviser coordinator for the Gateways to Opportunity project; and Margie Wallen, early learning project manager for the Ounce of Prevention Fund.”

2/15/06 Miami, FL
Teachers May Get ‘How-To’ Classes
“Students and teachers both could be learning during this year's summer school under a proposal that would create six ''demonstration schools'' in Miami-Dade County. Any teacher who applies could observe classes to learn techniques and strategies for some of the district's newest programs, such as single-gender classes and small learning communities. Unlike regular summer school, which lasts four weeks, the demonstration schools would have a six-week session. Details are still being negotiated with the United Teachers of Dade union, but students might only attend for part of the day, leaving teachers time to discuss the program in the afternoon. 'We'll almost be using a medical-rounds approach,’ said Ava Byrne, deputy superintendent for professional development, comparing the program to the system used for rookie doctors.”

2/17/06 Fulton, MO
[Article on School Board Meeting]
“In other matters, four FPS elementary school educators addressed the board regarding their participation in Teachers' Academy, a monthly group that convenes the region's teachers to explore cutting-edge techniques and expand their knowledge of other developments and trends within their field. ‘It's extremely helpful to meet with teachers in a region and get feedback and bounce ideas off each other,’ said Bush Acclerated School teacher Heidi Ebersole. Their involvement is part of FPS's professional-development efforts encouraginig teachers to innovate and expand their repertoire of educational approaches. ‘The kids enjoy it when I come back (from Academy meetings),’ said McIntire Elementary School teacher Sharon Meyer, ‘because they usually know I'm going to come back with something new that I'd like to try.’”

2/16/06 Lincolnton, GA
[Article on School Board Meeting]
“Concerning staff development, [an assistant superintendent] noted that there have been some major changes this year. ‘First and foremost is the fact that staff development continues to suffer the most from budget cuts. The program has lost nearly 40 percent of its funding over the last couple of years — we have had to pull funds from other Federal programs such as Title II and Title VI in order to fund our professional development program. Unfortunately, we no longer receive Title VI funds so we have lost another 20 percent of our funding.’ He went on to add, ‘We are continuing to phase in the Georgia Performance Standards which means a lot of professional development for our staff over the next several years.’”

2/16/06 Merino, CO
Mad About Merino: School’s Teachers Make It a Success
“Merino Elementary may be a small, rural school 120 miles from a major city, but it's getting nationwide attention. ‘People think of us as a little podunk, no resources, no qualified teachers because we're out here and it's just the opposite,’ Merino Elementary Principal Kyle Stumpf said. The kindergarten through sixth-grade school of 156 pupils is at the tail end of a three-year federal grant for reading. The $450,000 Colorado Reading First Grant paid for a full-time reading coach and training for teachers. Stumpf said the success the school has seen, in part because of the grant, is garnering the school attention from other areas. ‘Before, we did things well but everyone was doing their own thing,’ Stumpf said ... Merino Elementary is noted as one of the top two schools out of the 33 schools in the first cycle of the CRF grant, according to Stumpf. Because of the success the school has had in its reading program, other statewide schools are visiting it to observe Merino's teachers, according to the principal ... But why is a small school in rural town having so much success when by all accounts it should be struggling? Stumpf chalks it up to one area: The school's teachers ... [A Title I teacher said she] and other teachers try to meet the needs of the lowest students, thereby making everyone rise higher. The lowest readers are monitored every week and instruction is changed when needed. She said teachers are willing to try new things and give extra time. Any weak areas are addressed with professional development ... Kathy Graham is now the school's literacy coach. She says the grant that funds her position has given the school professional learning and a community model. ‘We all had the same training. We're all on the same page,’ Graham said. The program uses scientifically based research to monitor students' progress, Graham said. Teachers collaborate and monitor the data to see if the pupil's needs are being addressed. If not, they can intervene early. She said the children she's helped with reading are now excited about putting sounds together because of the curriculum.’”

2/15/06 East Germantown, IN
[Test] Scores Please School Leaders
“In other business ... the [school] board approved a Community Alliance to Promote Education agreement, which says the school corporation will use a $30,000 grant for training and professional development in early childhood literacy over the next three years.”

2/14/06 Chillicothe, OH
School Tech Budget May Get Boost
“The Chillicothe Board of Education is considering nearly doubling its annual technology budget for computer equipment purchases ... While many technology grants are available, the district only needs specific ones. ‘We have so much in professional development grants, you could be training people 24 hours a day,’ said Assistant Superintendent Joyce Atwood. ’Some of our other grants have dwindled. We went from getting $50,000 one year to about $13,000 this year.’’’

2/14/06 Missoula, MT
School Groups Ready to Share Recommendations
“The Community Conversations group originally gathered last summer for a series of ‘study circle’ meetings. It was comprised of parents, community representatives and educators appointed by [Missoula County Public Schools] Superintendent Jim Clark ... The Community Conversation Ad Hoc Committee had six recommendations, including: ... Invest in professional development for school district staff.”

2/15/06 Grand Rapids, MI
[School District] Teachers to Start Winter Break With Learning
“Even as many East Grand Rapids families prepare to leave town for next week's winter break, teachers are ready to head back to the classroom. Educators will spend the first three days of the weeklong break in a conference-style series of professional development workshops ... The sessions will run all day Monday through Wednesday, and teachers can choose from a variety of subjects, including differentiation, using online research resources, and working with exceptional students. All teachers must take a session on using the new data warehouse system, an online tool that allows them to create reports ranging from district-wide performance to a student's individualized results on a specific subject. ‘We have 189 teachers choosing from 11 to 14 sessions over each of the three days,’ said Glowicki. ‘It's pretty amazing to think about.’ Breton Downs Elementary teacher Lisa Loyd is looking forward to benefiting from the conference. ‘I get so much more out of having three days rather than a half day here and a half day there,’ she said. ‘And not having the students there means we can really focus on what it is we need to do.’

2/17/06 Yuma, AZ
Teacher Training “Raving Success”
“Organizers of the first-ever countywide professional development day for educators, held Friday at Yuma High School, say the event was a ‘raving success.’ Each of the more than 2,000 teachers participating attended three of the more than 200 available breakout sessions on a variety of topics ranging from culturally appropriate teaching strategies to a geometry construction project to editorial cartoons in secondary social studies.”

2/14/06 Townsend, MA
Teachers Veto Proposed 3-Year Contract
“Teachers from North Middlesex Regional School District vetoed a proposed three-year contract by a nearly two-to-one margin Monday ... Teachers and the school committee also disagree about extended Wednesday school days, because they don't provide students extra help on schoolwork or teachers the opportunity for professional development, [the teachers’ union president] said. The district's school day normally ends about 2 p.m., but lasts one hour longer on Wednesdays.”

2/17/06 Conventry, RI
Board OKs New Agreement With Teachers
“The teachers also agreed to participate in common planning time outside of the normal school day, and to spend 15 hours on professional development, at no additional cost.”

2/15/06 Eldridge, iA
[School District] Unveils Proposed 06-07 School Calendar
“Seven professional development days have been scattered throughout the first and second semesters. Two additional per diem days were scheduled and will depend on state funding - one on Aug. 11 and the other on Jan. 3, 2007. ’One of the things we've worked on very hard in the last few years is to make the best use of our staff development days,’ he said. ‘We've tried to move them throughout the calendar so they come in a timely fashion, at a time when we can make best use of that very important staff development time.’ One noteworthy change, Langenhan explained, involves two-hour early dismissals on the last day of each quarter. He said that teachers will be using that time to work together. Board member Joni Dittmer asked how well the staff development day, held on the day after Christmas break ended, went. Langenhan thought those sessions went ‘very well,’ and that the teachers came back refreshed and ready to work.”

2/18/06 Chambersburg, PA
Our View: [Superintendent] is Wrong Choice for Conference (editorial)
“Four months before his retirement date, Chambersburg Area School District Superintendent Ed Sponseller is heading to California next week for a conference at taxpayers' expense ... The money is coming from Chapter I federal funds. Sending Sponseller to San Diego for the American Association of School Administrators' national conference isn't the best use of taxpayer dollars. What "professional development" can Sponseller achieve in a four-day conference that he hasn't picked up in 38 years in education?”

2/14/06 Las Vegas,NV
School Board’s Math Skills Come Under Criticism
“Pop quiz: How should the Clark County School District spend $46,000 in private funds designated for training School Board members? A) On four days with a management consultant. B) On a six-month contract with a firm teaching largely the same techniques? The School Board chose the first option, which has some observers wondering if there shouldn't have been a third choice - hire a math teacher who could explain the difference between four days and six months.
... Under a deal approved by the School Board in a 6-1 vote, consultant John Carver will collect $46,000 to spend four days in Clark County reminding the board how it should conduct its business. The School Board adopted his [‘policy governance’] model in 2000, hiring Carver and his wife, Miriam, to conduct initial training. He has made several follow-up visits to the district, with the associated costs covered by private grants. The latest contract will also be paid with a professional development grant from the private Broad Foundation... Carver charged the district $6,000 a day for three days on his visit two years ago. This time, he sought a daily rate of $8,500, plus expenses, which he said must include lodging at a four-star hotel. His second option - the one the board chose - which was $46,000 for four days, including expenses ... The School Board nixed hiring Aspen Group International, a leadership development company based in Castle Rock, Colo., to provide four days of workshops plus six months of follow-up services.”

Compiled and disseminated by:
Hayes Mizell
Distinguished Senior Fellow
National Staff Development Council

To be added to or removed from the ‘PD in the News’ distribution list, contact: hmizell@msn.com


Post a Comment

<< Home