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:
- Identify and choose which goals you will benchmark based on the needs of your organization.
- Select people in your organization or a committee of teachers and administrators from key schools or departments who will assist in benchmarking.
- 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.
- Analyze data such as time, costs, stipends, release time, benefits, student and teacher data, evaluations, etc.
- Identify gaps by comparing "best practices" with what is happening currently at your school or district or in your PD organization.
- Choose good partners who fill in gaps and complement what you offer.
- Develop a professional development plan that includes activities, who will be responsible for each activity and when activity will be started and completed.
- 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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