Full Cost of Professional Development Hidden
Cost. That would seem to be the most fundamental aspect of crafting a professional-development program. But as a number of researchers have discovered, school districts rarely have a good fix on how much they actually spend on such training—or on what that spending buys in the way of teacher or student learning.
Because districts tend to characterize professional development as programming, they typically underestimate other investments in teachers’ knowledge and skills—such as how much they spend on salaries during hours teachers attend in-service workshops, according to experts who study district budgeting on professional development.
What’s more, few professional-development activities are linked to outcome measures of whether a teacher has increased his or her capacity to...
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