State lawmakers and district officials should revise local collective bargaining contracts and state laws so that they support high-quality professional development, a report released this month by four groups urges.
The National Staff Development Council, the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, and the Council of Chief State School Officers banded together to produce the report. It incorporates the work of six state teams charged with examining local collective bargaining language and state codes that shape professional development.
The report covers a wide swath of topics, including whether the states and districts: have standards for professional development; specify budgetary policies for professional development; compensate teachers for professional development; and provide for teacher-designed professional development and collaboration. It also discusses how states address a few specific types of training, such as the professional development required for relicensure, induction, national-board certification, and career ladders.
The authors deem the current scope of policies disappointing. “From our study in these six states,” they write, “it seems that professional learning does not have a significant place in policy and collective bargaining language.”
A version of this article appeared in the August 25, 2010 edition of Education Week as Professional Development