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ERIC Number: ED530966
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Nov-28
Pages: 141
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 119
The Ready to Teach Program: A Federal Initiative in Support of Online Courses for Teachers
Gill, Wanda E.
Online Submission
The report, "The Ready to Teach Program: A Federal Initiative in Support of Online Courses for Teachers", describes the history of the Ready to Teach Program and its role as one of the solutions to the national need to increase the performance of teachers through professional development. The report describes selected findings from the Eisenhower Professional Development Program and through it, the evolution of findings on effective professional development for teachers. These major efforts to improve teacher professional development by the U.S. Department of Education were supplemented by smaller efforts like the optional use of up to 10% of Title I monies for professional development, as determined by the principal of a Title I school or by the District, depending on the State Plan at that time. As is true of most other initiatives that have been identified for scaling up, the Ready to Teach Program grew out of "MathLine", a national telecommunications-based demonstration project for mathematics that was developed and implemented by PBS for teachers of students in grades K-12. "MathLine" linked resources and articles to mathematics topics for teachers to increase teaching and learning strategies and options for their classrooms. "MathLine" was so impressive that Congress readily funded the The Ready to Teach program; indeed, Congress continued to fund the program through the U.S. Department of Education from 2001-2011 when the last two remaining grantees, Alabama Public Television Authority and PBS' TeacherLine completed their projects. This report documents the substantive evaluations, reports and Government Performance & Results Act (gpra) findings from this innovative program to substantiate the effectiveness of online professional development for teachers by: (1) introducing teachers to online instructional strategies, resources, and options; (2) improving student achievement through improved and varied instructional strategies and approaches; (3) increasing teacher retention by building camaraderie and networking opportunities through the use of online communities of learning; (4) demonstrating improvements in online programs for learning as a result of advances in curriculum content that uses television production capabilities for more inviting academic programming; (5) demonstrating the effectiveness of partnerships between local public television stations and state departments of education in producing high quality online professional development modules; (6) demonstrating the use of coaching modules for improved teaching and learning; and, (7) elevating theoretical best practices by developing them into actual best practices by coupling them with expert design team and evaluator feedback in ongoing curriculum and program module/lesson development. This report highlights the Ready to Teach Program assessments and studies in light of other existing research studies of online teacher professional development to document the significant contributions of this program towards a better understanding of the online professional development issues and what works. Two appendixes present: (1) Descriptions of the Ready to Teach Projects by Funding Cycle from ED Archives; and (2) Examples of Funded Program Abstracts. (Contains 31 footnotes.)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A