On February 4th, the National Staff Development Council (NSDC) and Stanford University researchers released a comprehensive report that indicates the nation has a long way to go in terms of teachers having the skills and knowledge they need to raise student achievement. The report, Professional Learning and in the Learning Profession: A Status Report on Teacher Development in the United States and Abroad, found that although the U.S. is making progress in providing support and mentoring for new teachers and focusing on bolstering teacher content knowledge, the support and on-the-job training most teachers receive is often fragmented and disconnected from real problems of practice. The report combines research-supported techniques in improving teacher skills and knowledge with strategies from other nations that outperform the U.S. in education, and gives an analysis of newly available data from the federal Schools and Staffing Survey (among other sources) to show where the nation stands in building educators' ability to help students reach high standards. This is the first installment in a multi-year study that will measure state and district progress in providing opportunities to help the education workforce.
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