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ERIC Number: ED569938
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2016-May
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Supporting Statewide Implementation of the Learning School Initiative. Catalyst Schools Research Study Report
Hammer, Patricia Cahape
West Virginia Department of Education Office of Research, Accountability, and Data Governance
This is the first in a series of reports based on a research study, Developing Effective Professional Learning Communities in Catalyst Schools, conducted between February 2015 and June 2016. "Catalyst schools" were elementary- and secondary-level schools selected to participate in a pilot project intended to explore how best to support implementation of the Learning School approach to teacher professional learning. There were two cohorts of catalyst schools, the first beginning in the 2014-2015 school year and the second in 2015-2016; by the end of the pilot project there were 28 participating schools located in 23 districts. The Learning School approach was developed by Learning Forward, a national professional association focused on improving the professional learning of educators. The Learning School approach is based on seven Learning Forward Standards for Professional Learning (PL Standards), which were adopted by the West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) in 2012. As such, implementing the Learning School approach was seen as a fitting way to build the capacity of schools to become more self-directed in their use of professional development aimed at improving student learning. The project was spearheaded by the WVBE and implemented by the state's eight regional education service agencies (RESAs), with help from the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE). Ultimately, the WVBE's aim is to improve professional learning by decentralizing decision making back to the school level. The main strategies for accomplishing this shift are in the following areas: funding decisions; scheduling time; and school capacity. The catalyst school research study had four research questions. This brief report reviews findings for one of them: What are feasible approaches for statewide implementation of a decentralized, school-driven approach to professional learning? This study of the catalyst schools employed both quantitative and qualitative methods to provide useable information for leaders in the catalyst schools, as well as for planners and leaders involved in scaling up the program for statewide implementation. Stakeholders were involved in data collection and interpretation in order to maximize the usefulness and use of the study findings. [For more information about methods used in this study, see "Catalyst Schools Research Study: Technical Report" (ED569935).]
West Virginia Department of Education Office of Research, Accountability, and Data Governance. 1900 Kanawha Boulevard East, Charleston, WV 25305. Tel: 304-558-2546; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: West Virginia Department of Education
Identifiers - Location: West Virginia