Find your next job fast at the Jan. 28 Virtual Career Fair. Register now.
Opinion
Education Opinion

Gates Column Highlights Importance of Effective PD

By Learning Forward — March 07, 2011 1 min read

In a Washington Post piece published last week, Gates wrote that to “flip the curve” in the performance of public elementary and secondary schools, we need to “flip the curve” in how we improve teaching effectiveness. Gates calls for the nation to invest in identifying great teachers, discovering effective practices, and transferring effective practices to all teachers within our nation’s education system.

Over the past 42 years, Learning Forward has documented that students learn more when teachers learn and work together. Effective professional development -- teachers meeting to analyze student performance data, identify students’ and teachers learning needs, and invest in gaining new strategies - is the most powerful strategy to improve student performance.

We have evidence that this works. Studies funded by the Gates Foundation found that when states invest heavily in high quality professional development, they obtain greater increases in student achievement than other states. Exemplary states make it a priority to build an infrastructure that provides all teachers with access to effective professional development. Another study shows us that countries that routinely out-perform the United States have teachers who regularly collaborate throughout their careers to solve complex problems. They learn, teach, and assess student performance together every day.

Answers to increasing student achievement exist in many schools, and through collaborative professional learning, those answers spread from classroom to classroom. When educators share responsibility for the success of every student, we shift from fixing one teacher and classroom at a time to improving teaching across classrooms, schools, and school systems.

Stephanie Hirsh
Executive Director, Learning Forward

The opinions expressed in Learning Forward’s PD Watch are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Branding Matters. Learn From the Pros Why and How
Learn directly from the pros why K-12 branding and marketing matters, and how to do it effectively.
Content provided by EdWeek Top School Jobs
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
How to Make Learning More Interactive From Anywhere
Join experts from Samsung and Boxlight to learn how to make learning more interactive from anywhere.
Content provided by Samsung
Teaching Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table With Education Week: How Educators Can Respond to a Post-Truth Era
How do educators break through the noise of disinformation to teach lessons grounded in objective truth? Join to find out.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

BASE Program Site Director
Thornton, CO, US
Adams 12 Five Star Schools
Director of Information Technology
Montpelier, Vermont
Washington Central UUSD
Great Oaks AmeriCorps Fellow August 2021 - June 2022
New York City, New York (US)
Great Oaks Charter Schools
Director of Athletics
Farmington, Connecticut
Farmington Public Schools

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: January 13, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read