ERIC Number: ED445055
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Apr-26
Reference Count: N/A
The Effects of Teachers' Professional Development on Student Achievement in Community School District #2.
Harwell, Michael; D'Amico, Laura; Stein, Mary Kay; Gatti, Guido
Educators in District #2 in New York City have focused on school reform for more than a decade, shaping their efforts at district-wide instructional improvement through subject-matter initiatives. This study was conducted to explore the influence of a variety of factors on student achievement in District #2 with a particular interest in the role of teacher professional development. Between 1988 and 1998, the percentage of District #2 students achieving at or about grade level rose from 56% to 73% in reading and from 66% to 82% in mathematics, suggesting that the professional development strategy may have had some effects. Achievement and demographic data for District #2's students were obtained, as was information on teachers' backgrounds and professional development experience. Questionnaires completed by 37 teachers in grades 3 and 5 were used, and analyses of the link between achievement and professional development were based on the 848 students of these teachers. Many variables that the school district cannot control, poverty, ethnicity, and proficiency in English, exerted an influence on student performance in reading and mathematics. Socioeconomic status had a strong relationship with classroom level reading performance, but teachers' reported engagement in professional development made a difference in that the relationship between gender and reading achievement was weakened when teachers discussed their literacy instruction with colleagues and with their principals frequently. Some possible reasons professional development did not show more powerful effects in reducing the achievement gap are discussed. This study has provided a foundation for other studies that will measure the linkages between various aspects of District #2's theory of action and student outcome measures. Two appendixes contain a discussion of study methodology and the teacher survey. (Contains 24 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.; Pittsburgh Univ., PA. Learning Research and Development Center.
Authoring Institution: N/A