Professional Learning: Expand It in AFT Plan

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

To the Editor:

Educators and policymakers have every reason to applaud American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten’s bold pledge to improve teacher-evaluation systems ("AFT Chief Promises Due-Process Reform," Jan. 20, 2010). But this effort—which also calls for professional development to help ineffective teachers improve their practice—will address the needs of a very small percentage of the teaching workforce. It is time to get serious about ensuring that the 3 million other teachers in the nation’s classrooms are able to engage in regular, team-based, content-rich, and sustained professional learning, which research has shown to help improve student achievement.

It’s a good first step to take on cumbersome personnel procedures and provide support to low-performing teachers, but let’s not let those efforts stand in the way of taking on the bigger challenge. We must make sure that all teachers have both the time and the opportunities to participate in professional-learning experiences that promote collaborative work and problem-solving and strengthen teaching across grade levels and subject areas.

The experience of high-achieving countries such as Finland, Singapore, and Japan reveals that such a strategy works to improve learning in the long term, and to reduce the number of struggling teachers in the first place.

Stephanie Hirsh
Executive Director
National Staff Development Council
Dallas, Texas

Vol. 29, Issue 20, Page 25

Published in Print: February 3, 2010, as Professional Learning: Expand It in AFT Plan
Related Stories
Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories





Sponsor Insights

Free Ebook: How to Implement a Coding Program in Schools

Successful Intervention Builds Student Success

Effective Ways to Support Students with Dyslexia

Stop cobbling together your EdTech

Integrate Science and ELA with Informational Text

Can self-efficacy impact growth for ELLs?

Disruptive Tech Integration for Meaningful Learning

Building Community for Social Good

5 Resources on the Power of Interoperability from Unified Edtech

New campaign for UN World Teachers Day

5 Game-Changers in Today’s Digital Learning Platforms

Hiding in Plain Sight - 7 Common Signs of Dyslexia in the Classroom

The research: Reading Benchmark Assessments

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

All Students Are Language Learners: The Imagine Learning Language Advantage™

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

How to Support All Students with Equitable Pathways

2019 K-12 Digital Content Report

3-D Learning & Assessment for K–5 Science

Climate Change, LGBTQ Issues, Politics & Race: Instructional Materials for Teaching Complex Topics

Closing the Science Achievement Gap

Evidence-based Coaching: Key Driver(s) of Scalable Improvement District-Wide

Advancing Literacy with Large Print

Research Sheds New Light on the Reading Brain

Tips for Supporting English Learners Through Personalized Approaches

Student Engagement Lessons from 3 Successful Districts

Response to Intervention Centered on Student Learning

The Nonnegotiable Attributes of Effective Feedback

SEE MORE Insights >