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ERIC Number: EJ915117
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Oct
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 6
ISSN: ISSN-0276-928X
Pockets of Excellence: Study Explores How Policy Affects Professional Learning in 4 High-Performing States
Jaquith, Ann; Mindich, Dan; Wei, Ruth Chung
Journal of Staff Development, v31 n5 p52-57 Oct 2010
According to national survey data, access to and participation in professional development varies widely across states, and the quality of professional development across most states is far from meeting research-based definitions of effective professional development, with a few pockets of excellence in some states. In this study, "Teacher Professional Learning in the United States: State Policies and Strategies," the authors look into those pockets of excellence and examine the policies and professional development strategies of a few high-performing states and their districts through case studies. The goal of this study is to deepen understanding of the kinds of policy contexts that may be connected to excellence in professional development at local levels. The authors began by conducting a broad scan of past and current state policies that support professional development in each state. They investigated the specific professional development programs, initiatives, and structures in each state and the conditions that supported these efforts. In doing so, they were able to draw some conclusions about the role of state policy and other factors that might be linked with high-quality professional development. Four high-performing states (Vermont, New Jersey, Missouri, and Colorado) were selected based on high levels of teacher participation in professional development on the 2007-2008 Schools and Staffing Survey, a reputation for enacting policies that are consistent with research on effective professional development, and improvements in student achievement on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (2009). The authors also looked for states with geographic and demographic diversity within and across states, as well as diverse policy contexts. The four state cases suggest that the professional development focus, the strategies used to implement professional development, and the extent to which professional development is widely available are shaped by several policy-related factors. Policies related to a state's "leadership," "infrastructure," and "resources for professional development" are three factors that play important roles in shaping the quality of professional development in each state. Another important factor the authors observed was the "position and role of intermediary organizations and professional development providers" in relation to state education agencies. (Contains 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Colorado; Missouri; New Jersey; United States; Vermont
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Assessment of Educational Progress