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Using Professional Development to Create Effective Teachers

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 Using Professional Development to Create Effective Teachers(12/09/2010) 
10:07
edweekcraig: 
Today's chat, "Using Professional Development to Create Effective Teachers," is now open for questions. Please start submitting them now.

Thursday December 9, 2010 10:07 edweekcraig
10:07
edweekcraig: 
The chat itself will begin at 2 p.m. Eastern.
Thursday December 9, 2010 10:07 edweekcraig
10:49
edweekcraig: 
Check out the recent Education Week special report "Professional Development: Sorting Through the Jumble to Achieve Success," for background reading. www.edweek.org/go/pdreport

Much of the report was written by today's moderator, EdWeek staff writer Stephen Sawchuk.
Thursday December 9, 2010 10:49 edweekcraig
1:56
edweekcraig: 
Thanks for all of the questions submitted so far. We will begin the chat in just a couple of moments. Cheers.
Thursday December 9, 2010 1:56 edweekcraig
1:59
edweekcraig: 
FYI ... There will be a transcript of the chat posted about 40mins after the chat closes.
Thursday December 9, 2010 1:59 edweekcraig
2:00
Stephen Sawchuk: 
Hi everyone! We’re excited to have you with us.

We’ve got two great panelists: Stephanie Hirsh, the executive director of Learning Forward (formerly the National Staff Development Council), a group that’s taken the lead in establishing standards for high-quality professional development; and Paul Ash, the superintendent of the Lexington, Mass., school district, whose PD efforts I profiled in one of the stories in our recent report.

We’ve tons of great questions in the queue already, so let’s get started. To keep things moving along, I’ll pose questions to each of our panelists in turn. Ready, panelists?
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:00 Stephen Sawchuk
2:01
Stephen Sawchuk: 
Our first question comes from Lenna, and it has to do with cost and sustainability -- important give our fiscal climate. Let's have Paul take this one.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:01 Stephen Sawchuk
2:01
[Comment From Lenna Ojure Lenna Ojure : ] 
My impression is that high quality pd involves having teachers work on issues over a significant length of time with opportunities to revisit material etc. How do you get school systems to commit time and resources over an extended period of time?
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:01 Lenna Ojure
2:02
Paul Ash: 
Lenna - First, teaachers need to understand why they are being ask to do something. I would start there. Most teachers will give of themselves if they believe in the cause.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:02 Paul Ash
2:02
STEPHANIE HIRSH: 
First, examine time that currently exists within the schedule that includes faculty meetings, planning time, professional development time, etc. Always share information on the impact of your investments. Providing information about how other high-performing countries outperform us use educator workday time is one way to provide information to districts and policy makers about the importance of time. http://www.learningforward.org/news/NSDCstudy2009.pdf
Use our book, Finding Time, http://www.learningforwardstore.org/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=B379&Category_Code=RS
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:02 STEPHANIE HIRSH
2:03
Stephen Sawchuk: 
I used Finding Time when I was reporting this series!
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:03 Stephen Sawchuk
2:03
Stephen Sawchuk: 
Here's a question for Stephanie that involves international comparisons...
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:03 Stephen Sawchuk
2:03
[Comment From Leticia Leticia : ] 
Some countries have training centers for professional development that are accredited by a government body. What do you see as the pros and cons of such an approach in the US? Should there be common standards around PD training?
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:03 Leticia
2:03
STEPHANIE HIRSH: 

FYI – I am going to make reference to a number of resources and some require membership. So I want to offer everyone a complimentary three-month membership so you can access these resources and then decide if you want to become an actual card-carrying member of Learning Forward. For that trial membership go to: https://www.learningforward.org/commerce/taste.cfm
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:03 STEPHANIE HIRSH
2:04
STEPHANIE HIRSH: 
First there are common standards for professional development. They are the Standards for Staff Development. http://www.learningforward.org/standards/index.cfm These standards represent the work of 17 professional associations and are adopted or adapted in 35 states The idea of national centers for teacher training and development work where there are common expectations for all teachers and students. In the US, states have determined performance standards and content standards. However, the content association standards for specific disciplines and the new common core standards in literacy and math will unify expectations for students so a more national approach to building content knowledge and content-specific pedagogy may provide a basis for laying the foundation. A national center will not, however support implementation of the learning unless there are coaches in schools to provide ongoing feedback as teachers implement and refine application of the learning within their classrooms and facilitate teacher reflection and analysis of the effectiveness of their practice by examining student work.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:04 STEPHANIE HIRSH
2:05
Stephen Sawchuk: 
Our next question comes from Nick. Paul, you take first crack at this one.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:05 Stephen Sawchuk
2:05
[Comment From Nick Nick : ] 
How do successful schools calculate a return on investment (ROI) for their annual PD?
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:05 Nick
2:06
Paul Ash: 
Nick - I would start by asking teachers to share what practices they implemented in the classroom and to collect evidence of its impact. Teacher self reports are an effective way to begin the assessment process. I would not wait for test results.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:06 Paul Ash
2:07
Stephen Sawchuk: 
Stephanie and Paul, Jayne has a great practical question for you both.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:07 Stephen Sawchuk
2:07
[Comment From Jayne Malloy Jayne Malloy : ] 
Do you have thoughts on how to respond to community members about why professional development requires changing their kids’ school days? Sometimes parents are frustrated with another inservice day or dropping kids off later than usual.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:07 Jayne Malloy
2:07
STEPHANIE HIRSH: 
When time set aside for professional development is used effectively and parents receive reports about student results, they realize the benefits to teachers and their students far outweigh the scheduling inconvenience. Share this document with them: http://www.learningforward.org/advancing/whypdmatters.cfm.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:07 STEPHANIE HIRSH
2:09
Paul Ash: 
Jayne - I would start by emphasizing the importance of PD for teachers. Before answering the concern about the schedule it's important parents know why PD is so important. In most states, schedules are set by collective bargaining. That usually stops the conversation.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:09 Paul Ash
2:11
Stephen Sawchuk: 
Here's a question about PD and compensation. Stephanie, want to take first crack?
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:11 Stephen Sawchuk
2:11
[Comment From David Schlein David Schlein : ] 
What is your opinion of tying teacher compensation to professional development? Such plans are currently in place in Portland, ME; Manitowoc, WI, and Helena, MT.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:11 David Schlein
2:11
STEPHANIE HIRSH: 
Sure, but first I'd like to add to Paul's response on ROI (which I really liked).
Return on investment in professional development can be calculated in terms of the students who are not retained, the teachers who are retained, meeting students’ needs in regular classrooms rather than in providing special services or programs, and school performance.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:11 STEPHANIE HIRSH
2:12
Paul Ash: 
David - I believe the vast majority of teachers want to do an excellent job and they will take quality PD if offered. You may find paying teachers for what they would take anyway is a waste of money.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:12 Paul Ash
2:12
STEPHANIE HIRSH: 
In an ideal world, teachers would be paid as true professionals and have time embedded within their contract day for continuous improvement. Systems of paying for participation, providing lane changes for hours of professional development, then, would give way to higher overall salary and committed time and accountability for continuous improvement as a professional.

We are concerned when compensation is provided only for participation and there is no clear expectation for or follow up to support application of the new learning and assessing its impact on practice and students. Rather we encourage compensation, recognition, and/or additional credits for educators who demonstrate the impact of professional development on their practice and/or their students.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:12 STEPHANIE HIRSH
2:13
Stephen Sawchuk: 
Two interesting points of view.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:13 Stephen Sawchuk
2:14
Stephen Sawchuk: 
Our next question comes from ...
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:14 Stephen Sawchuk
2:16
Stephen Sawchuk: 
Anne. Here's a great question about costs:
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:16 Stephen Sawchuk
2:16
[Comment From Anne George Anne George : ] 
How much should my school system spend on professional development
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:16 Anne George
2:16
Stephen Sawchuk: 
Let's hear you both take on this one!
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:16 Stephen Sawchuk
2:17
STEPHANIE HIRSH: 
In its Standards for Staff Development, Learning Forward “advocates that school districts dedicate at least 10% of their budgets to staff development and that at least 25% of an educator’s work time be devoted to learning and collaboration with colleagues” (NSDC, 2001). Also, Learning Forward advocates that at least 30% of the technology budget be devoted to teacher development. The average percentage most districts spent on professional development is 1% to 3% (Miles et al., 2004). In addition, the federal government requires that 10% of Title I funds for underperforming schools be allocated to related professional development.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:17 STEPHANIE HIRSH
2:17
Paul Ash: 
Anne - That's a hard one to answer. Faculty and principal meetings don't cost anything more. Regarding courses you offer, we budget about $500 per year. That covers the cost of all in-house PD we offer. Teachers pay for their own courses at universities.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:17 Paul Ash
2:18
Stephen Sawchuk: 
Here's a question from Kietha about the link between teacher evaluation (a hot topic these days!) and professional development.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:18 Stephen Sawchuk
2:18
Paul Ash: 
Our $500 figure is less that 1% of the Lexington budget. Above that, we have people who provide coaching.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:18 Paul Ash
2:19
[Comment From Kietha Kietha : ] 
Can you talk about what's worked (and hasn't) when schools align PD with teacher evaluation?
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:19 Kietha
2:20
STEPHANIE HIRSH: 
PD tied to teacher evaluation is important and is one purpose for PD. And if our intention is to impact all students we must move beyond one to one targeted professional development to ensuring team and school wide learning; promoting collective responsibility; and spreading great teaching from classroom to classroom and school to school.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:20 STEPHANIE HIRSH
2:21
Paul Ash: 
I believe all professionals have an obligation to improve. If a teacher never took a course or failed to take district PD, we should talk to that person. I recommend first offering high quality PD in the district. The vast majority of teachers will take it. Then, evaluate its impact, not the person who took the PD. We do want teachers to experiment with new ideas.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:21 Paul Ash
2:22
STEPHANIE HIRSH: 
Said another way: PD aligned to teacher evaluation must be only one aspect of a comprehensive vision for schoolwide PD. PD for teams and the entire faculty are equally important if the goal is to impact all students and ensure great teaching for every child every day.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:22 STEPHANIE HIRSH
2:22
Stephen Sawchuk: 
We're getting LOTS of follow-up questions on measuring the impact of PD, so let's have you both take this one from Darlene.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:22 Stephen Sawchuk
2:22
[Comment From Darlene Kurtz in ArkansasDarlene Kurtz in Arkansas: ] 
In view of Stephanie's reply about tying teacher compensation to professional development in a way that would see the impact the PD made, how would that be measured? Would each PD presentation/workshop have the means to determine the level of impact? How long after the PD would this take place? What would be the tool to assess the impact?
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:22 Darlene Kurtz in Arkansas
2:25
Paul Ash: 
Darlene - Teachers need to be held to high standards, including how well students learn in their classroom. Since PD takes many, many hours to show an impact, along with other factors that effect outcomes, it's very hard to show a causal impact. I do, however, know when teachers are really trying to learn new skills and are attempting to implement them.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:25 Paul Ash
2:26
Stephen Sawchuk: 
Paul is correct that most of the research on PD shows that number of hours really matters. Craig, could we get a link to that story?
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:26 Stephen Sawchuk
2:26
STEPHANIE HIRSH: 
First, keep in mind that an individual presentation alone is not an example of effective professional development. As mentioned earlier effective professional development that changes practice and improves results occurs over time and is supported by in classroom coaching and team based problem solving. So before you begin to think about how to document impact – ensure you have something worth measuring. Second, get clear on the measurable results you are seeking. Third, choose an appropriate design for evaluating. Consider these resources on our web site:
http://www.learningforward.org/news/jsd/jkillion244.cfm
http://learningforwardstore.org/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=B371&Category_Code=
http://www.nsdc.org/news/evalguide.cfm

Thursday December 9, 2010 2:26 STEPHANIE HIRSH
2:27
Stephen Sawchuk: 
Our next question is the age-old one about one-shot workshops!
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:27 Stephen Sawchuk
2:28
Stephen Sawchuk: 
if I can find it, that is. Give me a moment...
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:28 Stephen Sawchuk
2:29
STEPHANIE HIRSH: 
The 49 hour study is cited in the first report of our three reports on the state of professional development. You can find the link at:
http://www.learningforward.org/stateproflearning.cfm

Reviewing the evidence on how teacher professional development affects student achievement is the specific study. It is cited in the back of our report.

Thursday December 9, 2010 2:29 STEPHANIE HIRSH
2:29
Paul Ash: 
I don't condem one-shot workshops if they intended to teach a simple skill that can be learned in an hour or two. If, however, we expect people to learn a complex skill or knowledge base in a short PD meeting, don't bother. It may increase awareness, but not much else.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:29 Paul Ash
2:30
Stephen Sawchuk: 
We'll come back to that question. In the meantime, Paul, let's have you take this question:
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:30 Stephen Sawchuk
2:30
[Comment From MegMeg: ] 
Paul, how do you know when teachers are really trying to learn new skills? Is effort enough?
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:30 Meg
2:31
STEPHANIE HIRSH: 
Here is the citation for the 49 hour study: ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/regions/southwest/pdf/REL_2007033.pd
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:31 STEPHANIE HIRSH
2:31
Stephen Sawchuk: 
Ah, here's the one-shot workshop question. Sorry, Roy, to take a while to get back to you.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:31 Stephen Sawchuk
2:31
[Comment From Roy JasperRoy Jasper: ] 
Why do districts still send teachers to one-day workshops if they aren’t that effective?
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:31 Roy Jasper
2:31
Stephen Sawchuk: 
Stephanie, why don't you take Roy's question.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:31 Stephen Sawchuk
2:32
[Comment From Ann from WIAnn from WI: ] 
What do you see as the impact of the growing emphasis on professional learning communities on efective PD?
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:32 Ann from WI
2:33
STEPHANIE HIRSH: 
One day workshops can be useful in providing foundation knowledge and skills. The problem is when districts either 1) use these workshops to define their PD approach; or 2) hold teachers accountable for implementing what is introduced in a one-shot workshop providing no support for implementation.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:33 STEPHANIE HIRSH
2:33
Paul Ash: 
Meg - No, effort is not enough, but I would start with that. I recommend that there is some form of accountability and monitoring. After the PD program, course, PLC meeting, etc, I hope your teachers are providing feedback to a supervisor. In some cases, the supervisor may be observing the teachers working as a group, visiting classrooms when new ideas are implemented, or collecting work products from students. Based on the feedback data, the supervisor can tell if there is more than effort.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:33 Paul Ash
2:33
Stephen Sawchuk: 
I just published a question from Ann. It's a great question, as a bunch of new studies are in the works looking specifically at the PLC model, so expect more research in the future. But let's hear what our panelists have to say.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:33 Stephen Sawchuk
2:34
Paul Ash: 
I love PLCs. Teachers are meeting to look at student work and, as a team, trying to come up with better ways of teaching some students. This is real embedded PD.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:34 Paul Ash
2:36
STEPHANIE HIRSH: 
We think the increasing support for PLC is good news. It reflects our commitment to our new definition for professional development and what we believe and research shows has the greatest potential for impacting students and faculty schoolwide. We just gave an award to a very comprehensive study on PLCs. -http://aer.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/46/4/1006?ijkey=5pUTARD99.Mlc&keytype=ref
And we invite you to read about the definition and watch the video of an effective PLC in action. http://www.learningforward.org/standfor/definition.cfm
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:36 STEPHANIE HIRSH
2:36
Stephen Sawchuk: 
Preston has a great follow-up question on PLCs.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:36 Stephen Sawchuk
2:36
[Comment From Preston WebsterPreston Webster: ] 
What distinguishes effective from ineffective PLC's?
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:36 Preston Webster
2:37
Stephen Sawchuk: 
I know both our panelists have an opinion on this one!
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:37 Stephen Sawchuk
2:37
STEPHANIE HIRSH: 
No intentional learning.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:37 STEPHANIE HIRSH
2:38
STEPHANIE HIRSH: 
The "L" in PLC is about professionals in community "learning". They need substantive learning to inform the decisions they will make and not rely on simply the knowledge they currently have.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:38 STEPHANIE HIRSH
2:38
Paul Ash: 
Preston - The PLC needs to be data driven. If the PLC members are not looking at student who as compared with learning expectations, then they may be wasting their time. I like to think of effective PLCs as a group of curious people trying to improve their performance. If the PLC is not connected to improving student performance, then they are probably not effective.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:38 Paul Ash
2:38
edweekcraig: 
Stephen, I believe this is the story we have online about research on PD showing that number of hours really matters.

Proof Lacking on Success of Staff Development
http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2010/11/10/11pd_research.h30.html

"The review found that, across the nine studies, only the teachers who received a substantial amount of development boosted students’ scores."
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:38 edweekcraig
2:39
Stephen Sawchuk: 
Thank you Craig!
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:39 Stephen Sawchuk
2:40
STEPHANIE HIRSH: 
Be sure and review Part A of the definition -- it includes the cycle of improvement that defines the work of PLCs. See these resources as well:Another resource on PLCs and their impact http://www.nea.org/assets/docs/mf_pdbrief.pdf And read about schools embracing the concept at: Learning School Alliance http://www.learningforward.org/alliance/index.cfm
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:40 STEPHANIE HIRSH
2:40
Stephen Sawchuk: 
Here's an interesting question from Randall... in addition to site-based learning, are teacher networks across schools important?
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:40 Stephen Sawchuk
2:40
[Comment From Randall FRandall F: ] 
In regards to PD, how important is it for teachers to form their own PLN (personal learning network) in addition to the school-based PLC?
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:40 Randall F
2:41
Stephen Sawchuk: 
What do you think, panelists?
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:41 Stephen Sawchuk
2:43
Paul Ash: 
Randall - Teachers are incredibly busy. If teachers have time to form more networks, that's great. For most teachers, the job of teaching and meeting district responsibilities is as much as a dedicated professional can handle. I agree the district should support teachers who want to make more connections with colleagues.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:43 Paul Ash
2:43
STEPHANIE HIRSH: 
Participation in across school and district networks is encouraged in our first standard on Learning Communities. In many cases they are absolutely essential for teachers who are the only ones who teach a particular course and are seeking a subject-based network of colleague. They support teacher expertise spreading from school to school and system to system. More from our standard in a moment:
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:43 STEPHANIE HIRSH
2:43
Paul Ash: 
I agree with Stephanie.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:43 Paul Ash
2:44
Stephen Sawchuk: 
Eric wants to know why this is all so difficult!
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:44 Stephen Sawchuk
2:44
STEPHANIE HIRSH: 
Hold on .. here's about networks from our standards: Many educators also benefit from participation in regional or national subject-matter networks or school reform consortia that connect schools with common interests. While most such networks have face-to-face meetings, increasing numbers of participants use electronic means such as e-mail, listservs, and bulletin boards to communicate between meetings or as a substitute for meetings. Such virtual networks can provide important sources of information and knowledge as well as the interpersonal support required to persist over time in changing complex schoolwide or classroom practices.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:44 STEPHANIE HIRSH
2:44
[Comment From Eric @NWEAEric @NWEA: ] 
It seems the solution for better PD you are crafting is based on effective PLCs where teachers are learning more effective strategies to improve student learning, and this is supported by instructional coaches and plenty of time and patience. That does not seem to be such a daunting order. Why do you think it is so hard to achieve?
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:44 Eric @NWEA
2:46
STEPHANIE HIRSH: 
First you need leaders who have a commitment to PLCs and understanding of what constitutes an effective PLC. In addition, PLC don't just happen on their own when teachers are convened for purposes of learning. Districts must make an investment in preparation and support of PLC facilitators.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:46 STEPHANIE HIRSH
2:46
Paul Ash: 
Eric - The superintendent is the person who must convince all constituencies that PD is the research and development schools need. Without PD, schools can never be effective. If the superintendent can show the Board and parents that PD is making a difference in the learning lives of children, he/she stands a much better chance keeping/getting the needed funds.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:46 Paul Ash
2:48
Stephen Sawchuk: 
Our next question is from Caroline, who wants to know the online implications!
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:48 Stephen Sawchuk
2:49
[Comment From Caroline - FloridaCaroline - Florida: ] 
As PLC's begin to work in online environments, what tools and features should they be looking for to facilitate their learning?
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:49 Caroline - Florida
2:50
Paul Ash: 
Caroline - I do not have any experience with on-line PLCs. I assume the same principles of local PLCs would apply.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:50 Paul Ash
2:51
STEPHANIE HIRSH: 
Okay .. here is my own question I wonder if someone wants to know: So how would you start .. as a follow up to ERIC: (Now I'll go back to Caroline).

Convene interested stakeholders; share the research; visit schools with successful PLCS and great student results (like your schools) and begin to ask if this is what we want for our system. Conduct an assessment of what you are doing that supports this vision and what needs to change. Ask what people want to learn in order to make this transition. And start with who is ready. And here is one resource that can be really helpful. http://www.learningforwardstore.org/merchant.mvc?
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:51 STEPHANIE HIRSH
2:52
Stephen Sawchuk: 
While Stephanie works up her answer, here's a story I did not long ago for the paper on online PD. http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2009/03/26/26virtual.h28.html
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:52 Stephen Sawchuk
2:52
STEPHANIE HIRSH: 
Two or three things come to mind. First is the ability to share documents and resources and work collaboratively on products in real time and asynchronously. Second is the ability to bring in and archive resources related to the work being done. Third is real time communication with products and practices in front of community members.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:52 STEPHANIE HIRSH
2:55
Stephen Sawchuk: 
Sonja has an addition to Stephanie's last comment:
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:55 Stephen Sawchuk
2:55
[Comment From Sonja Ed TechSonja Ed Tech: ] 
Online PD Learning Modules can also be developed and placed on schools' websites to be only accessible by teachers.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:55 Sonja Ed Tech
2:56
Stephen Sawchuk: 
Our next question comes from Jeri.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:56 Stephen Sawchuk
2:56
[Comment From Jeri CallawayJeri Callaway: ] 
Where do we start with a faculty lacking up-to-date professional research, training, instructional methods, and philosphy? It is a rural school with recent monetary resources.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:56 Jeri Callaway
2:57
Stephen Sawchuk: 
A tough question, Jeri. What do you think, panelists?
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:57 Stephen Sawchuk
2:58
Stephen Sawchuk: 
In the meantime, good news! We've so many questions we'll go on 10 extra minutes, until about 3:10 or so.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:58 Stephen Sawchuk
2:58
STEPHANIE HIRSH: 
Start with the data. Ask your teachers for their most persistent problems and compare that with the data. Follow the cycle of continuous improvement outlined in the definition. Introduce web and text based resources. There are many many great free resources through the web.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:58 STEPHANIE HIRSH
2:59
Paul Ash: 
Jeri - You might start with assembling the faculty and asking them what they need as teachers to improve learning. Since many teachers don't know where to start, you may share a great article and start a discussion. These discussions may lead to collaborative work, which is the start of PD. Some principals start book groups.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:59 Paul Ash
2:59
Stephen Sawchuk: 
Paul's district, in fact, did a survey of what teachers said they needed to learn. You can read about that in our series. Craig will send us the link.
Thursday December 9, 2010 2:59 Stephen Sawchuk
3:00
Paul Ash: 
The gap between student performance and goals is another place to start the conversation.
Thursday December 9, 2010 3:00 Paul Ash
3:00
Stephen Sawchuk: 
On to the next question, and it's from Joan.
Thursday December 9, 2010 3:00 Stephen Sawchuk
3:00
[Comment From Joan RooneyJoan Rooney: ] 
We all recognize the need to teach students using the approach or method that will work best for each student. Are we saying that in terms of professional development for teachers though, that only professional learning communities will meet their needs?
Thursday December 9, 2010 3:00 Joan Rooney
3:01
STEPHANIE HIRSH: 
And as I recall that survey was linked to the data on student learning needs and was designed to identify what the district would do to support the school-based PLCs. I add this comment because of our strong opinion on the use of needs assessments. Anyone want to know about that?
Thursday December 9, 2010 3:01 STEPHANIE HIRSH
3:01
edweekcraig: 
ref: "Paul's district, in fact, did a survey of what teachers said they needed to learn. You can read about that in our series"

here's that story:
Mass. District Strives for Teacher 'Learning System'
http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2010/11/10/11pd_local.h30.html

"In November of last year, Lexington officials conducted a survey of the district's teaching corps and designed the courses in response to teachers' top 10 priorities, which included expanding their repertoires of instructional strategies, analyzing student work, and integrating technology."
Thursday December 9, 2010 3:01 edweekcraig
3:02
Paul Ash: 
Joan - No. I believe PLCs are necessary, but not sufficient. Teachers need to find multiple ways to improve their learning. As individuals, it's their job to improve the quality of teaching. Collaborative efforts will spead up the process.
Thursday December 9, 2010 3:02 Paul Ash
3:02
Stephen Sawchuk: 
Stephanie, you were going to add something about needs assessments. Let's hear it!
Thursday December 9, 2010 3:02 Stephen Sawchuk
3:02
STEPHANIE HIRSH: 
Our definition makes it clear that both collaborative learning focused on implementation of learning and learning from external assistance providers supports refining and extending professional practice. It is the combination of these that promotes deep change in practice.
Thursday December 9, 2010 3:02 STEPHANIE HIRSH
3:04
Stephen Sawchuk: 
I'm interested in what our panelists make of Matthew's question on costs.
Thursday December 9, 2010 3:04 Stephen Sawchuk
3:04
[Comment From Matthew LenardMatthew Lenard: ] 
How much do schools, districts and states spend on professional development? "Inside the Black Box..." by Miles et al. is the best study I've found. Anything more recent or more rigorous?
Thursday December 9, 2010 3:04 Matthew Lenard
3:04
STEPHANIE HIRSH: 
Thank you Stephen for asking: Asking teachers for their wants without basing those wants in student learning needs is poor practice. Needs assessments begin with specific goals for student learning and then ask teachers what they need to achieve those goals.
Thursday December 9, 2010 3:04 STEPHANIE HIRSH
3:05
Stephen Sawchuk: 
Matthew's referring to a study that found that many PD costs are hidden. We wrote some about this, too. Panelists, what's the best way to make spending transparent?
Thursday December 9, 2010 3:05 Stephen Sawchuk
3:06
STEPHANIE HIRSH: 
I am looking to see if I can place my hands on something more recent. You might check out the work of the Strategic Management of Human Capital workgroup.
Thursday December 9, 2010 3:06 STEPHANIE HIRSH
3:07
Paul Ash: 
In order to build trust with our many constiuencies, I recommend a very transparent school budget. Show all of the ways we support teachers (staffing, PD budget, travel, use of subs for PD, etc.)
Thursday December 9, 2010 3:07 Paul Ash
3:07
STEPHANIE HIRSH: 
Here is an article we published several years ago that helps people to calculate cost of professional development and describe for others where the money goes:
http://www.learningforward.org/login/login.cfm?destinationURL=/members/getDocument.cfm&destinationQueryString=articleID=189
Thursday December 9, 2010 3:07 STEPHANIE HIRSH
3:08
Stephen Sawchuk: 
And here's EdWeek's recent take: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2010/11/10/11pd_costs.h30.html
Thursday December 9, 2010 3:08 Stephen Sawchuk
3:08
Stephen Sawchuk: 
One more question, and then we'll have the panelists tell you how to learn more about their work.
Thursday December 9, 2010 3:08 Stephen Sawchuk
3:08
Stephen Sawchuk: 
Our final question comes from Anne.
Thursday December 9, 2010 3:08 Stephen Sawchuk
3:08
[Comment From Anne GeorgeAnne George: ] 
What does this look like--investing in the preparation and support of PLC facilitators.
Thursday December 9, 2010 3:08 Anne George
3:12
STEPHANIE HIRSH: 
This is a great opportunity for teacher leaders. It requires districts investing in their development. There are specific knowledge and skills PLC facilitators know how to use. If you take advantage of that three month trial membership I refer you to all the back issues of Teachers Teaching Teachers. Each issue focuses on an aspect of their work. Superintendents and principals need to belong in their own PLCs and need to understand and be able to facilitate as needed as well.
Here are some more resources:
Thursday December 9, 2010 3:12 STEPHANIE HIRSH
3:12
Paul Ash: 
Anne - In Lexington, we have not yet taken this step; although, I am considering it. Until you have funds for that, I suggest the supervisors get the training they need to support teachers (PLC conferences, and local meetings). As supervisors, they can provide a lot of assistance. Perhaps, your distict has non-supervisory personnel who can provide assistance to PLCs. Similar to the role of Instruction Technology Specialists, I suspect PLC coaches would be beneficial. Many teachers don't know how to use data effectively, plan meetings, and have "difficult conversations'" with colleagues.
Thursday December 9, 2010 3:12 Paul Ash
3:13
STEPHANIE HIRSH: 
Team to Teach http://www.learningforwardstore.org/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=B394&Category_Code=RSaking the Lead New Roles for School Base d Coaches and Teacher Leaders
Taking the Lead: N
Thursday December 9, 2010 3:13 STEPHANIE HIRSH
3:13
Stephen Sawchuk: 
Thank you, everyone, for the substantive questions and to our panelists for graciously sharing their time.

Panelists, any final thoughts before we sign off?

Thursday December 9, 2010 3:13 Stephen Sawchuk
3:14
Paul Ash: 
Thank you for the great questions. I enjoyed this session very much.
Paul
Thursday December 9, 2010 3:14 Paul Ash
3:15
STEPHANIE HIRSH: 
Professional development is the single most powerful strategy to improving student achievement. Thank you for your concern and attention to this issue.
Stephanie
Thursday December 9, 2010 3:15 STEPHANIE HIRSH
3:15
edweekcraig: 
And a huge thanks to Stephen for moderating today's chat.

Our special report on this topic is available here, http://www.edweek.org/go/pdreport. And please, feel free to comment on any and all of our articles. We encourage conversation on these important issues.

If we did not get to a question you submitted, we apologize, but know that there were literally hundreds submitted. We hope we covered as much ground as we could.

A printable transcript of this chat will be available within the hour on this same page. For more upcoming Education Week chats, visit www.edweek.org/go/chats.

Cheers all. ta ta.
Thursday December 9, 2010 3:15 edweekcraig
3:15
Stephen Sawchuk: 
Thank you both for participating!

As Craig mentioned, we'll soon have this chat archived so that you can check out the resources our panelists have provided. Thank you again for being with us this afternoon.
Thursday December 9, 2010 3:15 Stephen Sawchuk
3:16
 

 
 
 

Using Professional Development to Create Effective Teachers

Thursday, Dec. 9, 2 p.m. Eastern time

Chat With Stephanie Hirsh & Paul B. Ash
Much recent education policy has focused on recruiting bright new teachers and dismissing poorly performing ones. But what about the majority of educators still in classrooms who need help?

Join Education Week and a pair of professional-development experts for a conversation about what best practices consist of and how districts can think systemically about PD goals, strategies, and spending.

Guests:
Stephanie Hirsh, president, Learning Forward, (formerly known as National Staff Development Council).
Paul B. Ash, superintendent, Lexington Public Schools, Mass.
Stephen Sawchuk, staff writer for Education Week, will moderate this chat.

Related Story:

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