Applied Assessment for PD Planning with Districts and Schools

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1. As a regional implementation coach, a building principal asks for your advice. He wants teachers to implement a new practice within the building and is planning on sending his staff to a two-day summer workshop being held in a neighboring school district in mid-July. It is his hope that teachers will “hit the ground running” and begin implementing the new practice in mid-September. Based on what you know about high-quality professional development, what advice would you give the principal?

A. “A two-day professional learning opportunity prior to school might be a good idea. That way, teachers can create activities during the summer and be ready to use them in September. It may be possible to pay teachers a stipend or for them to earn PD credits to encourage attendance during peak vacation time. Any teachers unable to attend the mid-July training could be trained by other teachers in the building prior to implementation.”

B. “A two-day professional learning opportunity prior to school and one-shot workshops during the year are good vehicles for awareness or to introduce new knowledge and strategies, but they cannot change practice in the classroom. If your plan is to move from training in July to implementation in September, it probably will not happen. There should be coaching and support after the training to ensure effective implementation.”

C. “A two-day training session in July will give the teachers an idea of how to use the new practice. They will have time to develop necessary materials, locate resources and will have time to do additional research if they feel the need. If teachers struggle with implementation, they can get an additional training next year during an early out day.”

D. “Teachers go on vacations during the summer. It would be a better idea for teachers to receive training over the course of next year during their early out PD days. Then, they can start implementing the practice in May after state testing. Teachers will have a couple of weeks to “try out” the practice before school lets out. If the practice proves successful, teachers can implement the following year.”

2. Dr. Tom Guskey, professor of educational psychology at the University of Kentucky's College of Education had this to say about new learning for educators--"We should start where students' weaknesses and shortcomings are and then seek strategies or techniques to help teachers understand those shortcomings.” Which of the following scenarios best illustrates Dr. Guskey’s belief?

A. To determine PD needs for teachers--- perceptual data is collected and analyzed from student and parent surveys. After a careful analysis, conclusions are drawn to determine the areas of instruction that are in need of professional development training.

B. To determine PD needs for teachers---A listing of effective teaching and learning practices are provided to teachers. Teachers choose three topics on which they feel they need training or want to learn more about. The surveys are collected and results collated. The topics receiving the most votes are the topics for professional development training on three early out days.

C. To determine PD needs for teachers---members of the PD committee get input and ideas from teachers within each of their buildings. Then, each committee member sends ideas to the district level PD chairperson. She/he collates the data. The topics that are mentioned several times-- are the topics addressed during professional development training sessions on early out days.

D. To determine PD needs for teachers--- data is collected and analyzed from several sources (i.e. results from classroom observations, state assessments, classroom summative assessments and student demonstrations). After a careful analysis, conclusions are drawn to determine areas of instruction that need additional training and support.

3. When designing professional learning opportunities, it is important to consider the following:

  • the goals for the learning experience,
  • the characteristics of the learners,
  • the comfort of the learners with each other and with the content,
  • the work environment,
  • availability of resources.
The reason for considering these five factors is to ensure…

A. the likelihood of the expected change in educator behavior and practice.

B. the training matches the abilities and expertise of the participants.

C. that all students receive instruction from highly qualified teachers.

D. that all teachers have the skills needed to differentiate instruction.

4. Imagine you are creating a tip sheet for effective PD planning and have asked colleagues in your office for ideas. You receive ideas from four colleagues and want to use the three best. Whose idea will you not use?

Joe’s Idea: “When planning for professional learning, one needs to consider the essential elements of a collaborative community of learners, skillful advocacy-based leadership, and support resources to achieve results for students. Lack of even one these essential conditions can cause failure in the implementation of professional learning.”

Mike’s Idea: “When planning for professional learning, one needs to make sure to there are: opportunities for teachers to work collaboratively with other teachers and observe in other classrooms; time for practice and feedback; and a mechanism for benchmarking progress and evaluating learning outcomes.”

Ann’s Idea: “When planning for professional learning, it is essential to use results from teacher surveys, as a basis to make the plan. Teachers need to feel they have input and “buy-in” into the topics being presented or implementation will not happen at the level desired. Topics mentioned several times in the survey results should be topics addressed during professional development training sessions.”

Misha’s Idea: “When planning for professional learning, one needs to address these four critical elements: planning, learning, implementing, and evaluation. Lack of even one these essential elements can cause failure in the implementation of professional learning.”

Whose idea will you not use?

A. Joe's Idea

B. Mike's Idea

C. Ann's Idea

D. Misha's Idea

5. Effective professional learning occurs most often in: learning communities; is supported with strong leadership and appropriate resources; is drawn from and measured by data on students, educators, and systems; has substantive implementation support; and focuses on student and educator standards. Which example below describes a school which has an environment that promotes effective professional learning?

A. School A has grade level data teams that meet at least one time monthly on early out days to discuss results on common assessments. The school Principal or Vice-Principal attends team meetings every other month. Meeting minutes are filed electronically in a secure shared folder so all teachers know what is going on with other teams. All team members send data to the team chairperson who collates it and charts it. Data is discussed at every meeting and all decisions are based on data. Data boards which are updated monthly are posted in the halls for parents, teachers, and students, and successes are celebrated. Three times annually, implementation surveys are completed by teachers and results are reviewed by principals and teachers. Results are used to determine needs for PD. Team coaching occurs at least once monthly on topics that are deemed important as shown by the data from surveys. Implementation of priority standards are a main focus for teachers and students. Teachers observe teachers and provide feedback related to a specified teaching practices. Professional learning is highly valued by all staff.

B. School B has content area data teams that have common planning time every day. Each team has a captain who is supposed to keep the principal informed about what is going on with the team. Data boards are created once a year during open house and posted in the halls for parents to view. One time annually, a PD survey is sent to all teachers who indicate three topics in which they would like to learn more. Results are collated and used to determine topics for PD offerings for the school term. There are two early out days during the school year. For both days, the principal arranges for a trainer to present on one or more of the topics selected by teachers. At least twice annually, the principal discusses with teachers results from classroom observations and provides a listing of websites to consult for online PD. Professional learning is highly valued by all staff, and many teachers attend out of state conferences to learn new ideas from national presenters. Upon returning to the district, the out of state travelers are asked to share PD materials and handouts with peers in the building.

C. School C uses cross content area teams that meet during their common planning hour one time weekly. Teams consist of both core and non-core teachers. Each team uses a broad overarching learning goal in which to monitor and track student performance (i.e. Using evidence to support ideas and claims). Each teacher administers an assessment related to his/her content area to measure the broad goal and collects data. The data is sent to the team captain who charts it on a grid. At the next team meeting, the team discusses the data and determines next steps. Teams usually focus on two goals per year. All teachers receive training on effective teaching practices four times per year on early out days. The school has a peer coach who attends at least two meetings per team. The principal receives copies of all progress charts related to monitoring student goals. The PD committee chooses the topics for PD on the early out days, based on teacher evaluation results.

D. School D has grade level data teams that meet at least one time monthly on early out days to discuss results on common assessments. The school’s coach attends team meetings at least two times per school year. Meeting minutes are kept in folders and are available should the principal want to see them. All team members send data to the team chairperson who collates it and puts it into a graph. At the next team meeting, the team discusses the data and determines next steps in regard to instructional changes. PD needs are determined by the results of the formative assessments. If students are not doing well on assessments, the teachers consult the coach who shares ideas for improving achievement. All training is received from the coach. During open house, each team makes a data display showing growth on learning targets. If teachers want to attend, outside training, they can put in a request and it must be approved by the building principal.

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