Back-office business: How Schools Get PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Done

9/29/2011 12:00:00 AM
Pearson to manage California teacher certification testing

Challenge: The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing needs to ensure that the state’s six million students receive the best possible education from qualified professionals.
Solution: Pearson will continue to administer the California Subject Examinations for Teachers, the California Basic Education Skills Test, the California Teacher of English Learners, and the Reading Instruction Competence Assessment programs. In addition, Pearson will continue to grow computer-based testing for all of its programs.

Harrison County (MS) School District receives a Vantage Learning grant for professional development

Challenge: The district wanted to enable teachers to provide individualized instruction in all content areas.
Solution: The $115,200 Vantage Learning Foundation Grant Award will allow Harrison County to purchase the instructional writing and assessment program MY Access!, a Web-based tool that will assist students in nine schools across the county to prepare for the Mississippi Writing Assessment. In addition, the grant will go toward comprehensive professional development and online instructional tools.

New York City schools select Teachscape to improve professional learning

Challenge: More than 150 NYC schools were eager to provide more targeted professional development to improve teacher effectiveness.
Solution: To the rescue: Teachscape’s Classroom Walkthrough software application and online Professional Learning Suite. “Teachscape Classroom Walkthrough will allow us to provide teachers with clear data-driven feedback in a timely manner and develop a common language for best practices. Based on this data, we will deliver professional development through the online courses offered in the Professional Learning Suite,” said David Cintron, principal of P.S. 214, The Lorraine Hansberry Academy in New York City.

Teachers in Etowah County (AL) use social media for professional development

 
 
Challenge: The Etowah County School System decided to find a way to make professional development accessible and cost effective for its teachers while it fostered stronger connections with its community and engaged its students.
Solution: In 2008, the district implemented the Schoolwires Centricity Web site and community management platform. In 2009, the district’s director of instructional technology collaborated with administrators to create the ENGAGE initiative (Empowering Next Generation with Authentic Global Experiences), which allows teachers to participate in sustained professional development in project-based learning, integrating 21st-century skills using NETS-T into the core curriculum, and increasing rigor and relevance of assignments. As part of ENGAGE, a Ning, wiki, and other forums were created to host online professional learning communities.

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