Professional Learning Redefined: Educator Groups Team Up to Profile Exemplary Districts, Schools and Educators

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Professional Learning Redefined: Educator Groups Team Up to Profile Exemplary Districts, Schools and Educators

New initiative from Educators for High Standards, Learning Forward, and Teach Plus seeks to highlight why Title II funds are critical in the advancement of public education

WASHINGTON (July 11, 2017) – Professional learning provides crucial opportunities for educators to grow, become more effective teachers, and, ultimately, shape stronger student outcomes. Yet, under the new federal education law – the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) – and its definition for the use of Title II funding, it can be difficult to imagine what high-quality professional learning might look like. In an effort to promote innovative, sustainable uses of Title II funds, Educators for High Standards, Learning Forward, and Teach Plus have partnered to profile districts, schools, and educators that illustrate the new definition of professional learning.

“Teachers are often their own best advocates – they know what quality professional learning is and is not,” said Katrina Boone, director of Educators for High Standards. “The goal of this project is to equip educators with the information they need to have a greater voice in how their districts use Title II funds, so that they can impact their own professional growth and development in a positive way.”

By better understanding where educators, schools, and districts are implementing innovative and sustainable professional learning, educators can become more informed consumers of professional learning, can demand more effective and impactful opportunities, and can advocate in their schools and districts to ensure they are receiving relevant and meaningful professional learning and growth opportunities under Title II.

“The definition of professional learning in ESSA describes the kinds of learning that educators have long said they value most,” said Stephanie Hirsh, executive director of Learning Forward. “We want to provide tools that empower teachers to demand evidence-based, embedded, collaborative, classroom-focused professional learning that will better their practice.”

Beyond informing schools and districts, this project will also ensure that policymakers understand the importance of adequate funding for Title II programming. Title II-A flexibility under the Every Student Succeeds Act provides states and districts with the unique opportunity to use Title II funding in creative, sustainable ways to advance teacher growth and student learning – but only as far as it is adequately funded.

“Teach Plus works with highly effective teachers across our ten regions who have a true understanding of how teacher-led, targeted, professional learning impacts school improvement, teacher growth, and student learning,” said Meghan O’Keefe, vice president of programs at Teach Plus. “We’re excited to share their stories with policymakers to ensure they understand why it’s crucial to adequately fund Title II programming.”

The three organizations will begin profiling schools, districts, and teachers this summer, and plan to release a report in the fall.

About Educators for High Standards: Educators for High Standards amplifies teacher voice about improving public education through a commitment to high standards for teaching and learning. Find out more at www.educatorsforhighstandards.org.

About Learning Forward: Learning Forward is a nonprofit, international membership association of learning educators committed to one vision in K–12 education: Excellent teaching and learning every day. To realize that vision Learning Forward pursues its mission to build the capacity of leaders to establish and sustain highly effective professional learning. Information about membership, services, and products is available from http://learningforward.org.

About Teach Plus: Teach Plus empowers excellent, experienced teachers to take leadership over key policy and practice issues that affect their students’ success. Teach Plus programs are designed to place highly effective teachers at the center of improvements in schools as leaders of their peers and outside schools influencing policy decisions that affect their classrooms. The programs develop excellent teachers into leaders who achieve change and mobilize others in their school, district, state, and across the nation to bring change to scale. Since its inception in August 2007, Teach Plus has grown to a network of more than 26,000 solutions-oriented teachers across the country. www.teachplus.org

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CONTACT:
Blair Mann
(571) 458-7925
bmann@forstudentsuccess.org