Benchmarking Steps

How do you use benchmarks to help you determine if your professional development program is effective and under a certain budget? Every organization including professional development organizations need to review their goals and benchmarks. There are eight key steps that you can follow to help you determine effectiveness:

  1. Identify and choose which goals you will benchmark based on the needs of your organization.
  2. Select people in your organization or a committee of teachers and administrators from key schools or departments who will assist in benchmarking.
  3. Gather data from past professional development activities and/or teaching practice at your school and district including best practices in and out of your school or from your PD organization.
  4. Analyze data such as time, costs, stipends, release time, benefits, student and teacher data, evaluations, etc.
  5. Identify gaps by comparing "best practices" with what is happening currently at your school or district or in your PD organization.
  6. Choose good partners who fill in gaps and complement what you offer.
  7. Develop a professional development plan that includes activities, who will be responsible for each activity and when activity will be started and completed.
  8. Implement the activities including all changes. However, be realistic on your due dates and how you communicate your progress.

All organizations with more than one person involved need to develop a clear communication plan or project management system.

Submitted by:Barbara Bray

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