Professional Learning News - April 2017

Title II funding in jeopardy: We need your voice!


Learning Forward
On March 16, the Trump Administration released its "skinny budget," the nation's first glimpse into the Administration's priorities and how they intend to pay for these priorities. Our intel leading up to the budget release had been on target and the skinny budget does, in fact, propose a 13% cut to the overall education budget which would include a total elimination of Title II, Part A. This is funding that is used by states and districts to support professional learning and leadership development activities. Learning Forward issued a statement immediately following the release of the budget. Learning Forward is part of a coalition of leading educator groups that is actively working to inform Congress about the critical uses of this funding and to ensure that the President's proposed elimination of Title II funding is not adopted.

We continue to need your help as we collect impact data to share with policy makers about how this funding has made a difference in your states, districts and communities. In particular, stories should share what the funding paid for and then the resulting change that occurred because of the resources or changes that the funding allowed. Please take this brief survey about how you use Title II funds to support professional learning. Feel free to share this link with colleagues who may also have information to offer:


As Long Beach teachers learn, so do those who design the learning


Learning Forward via Education Week Teacher
The Redesign PD Community of Practice engages teams from 22 of the nation's leading school districts and charter management organizations in identifying local professional learning challenges and creating scalable solutions. Learning Forward facilitates the community, where teams participate in continuous learning cycles to improve how they manage their professional learning systems. California's Long Beach Unified School District, a member of the Redesign PD Community of Practice, uses myPD, a personalized professional growth system in which educators create a professional learning plan, set goals, and find learning opportunities to help them meet those goals.


Charting a course for the change process: Learning strategies for sails, surfers, and anchors


Learning Forward
Leading change can be like trying to pilot a ghost ship. How can a leader get the crew on board, guide the vessel and successfully navigate the turbulent waters of change? Understanding where educators are on the change continuum and personalizing their learning are important first steps for the success of any initiative.

How to beat teacher burnout: More education


On average, one-third of teachers leave the profession within five years. Burnout is blamed for the short tenure. A recent report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that 46 percent of teachers say they feel daily stress on a level that's shared by doctors and lawyers. A continuing education program for teachers has the power to reduce attrition rates, but it's having trouble catching on.



Promoted by Teaching Channel





Arnett: Trump may have stripped back regulations on teacher preparation, but many states are moving forward


The 74
President Donald Trump recently signed a bill passed by Congress scrapping the Obama administration's new regulations for teacher preparation. In blocking the regulations, the bill put an end to the controversial requirement that states issue annual ratings for teacher training programs based on criteria such as how long graduates stay in the teaching profession and the graduates' impact on student-learning outcomes. Unfortunately, the Trump administration's decision to deregulate these institutions is likely a step backward for teacher preparation.

Coaching elevates teaching quality


Wilton Bulletin
It's essential to make sure we have highly trained and well-supported teachers in every classroom across the district. Teachers need the skills, support and confidence to lead their students in exploring and embracing this new approach to teaching and learning. To accomplish this, the Wilton (Connecticut) School District has implemented an "instructional coaching" program, through which teachers receive ongoing professional development, support, and feedback.





Your PD Adventure Begins Here

What tools do you have in your PD backpack? Do you know if those tools are directly influencing student learning? West Aurora 129 added micro-credentials to their PD backpack and saw double-digit growth in student achievement in just one year.

Read their story and learn their secrets now.


The global search for education: How teachers are learning in New York


The Huffington Post
A new era of personalized professional development is penetrating New York schools. Online learning methods that in the past enriched students are now engaging educators. Participation in online professional development is on the rise. And demand will continue to grow. The State of New York has mandated that all teachers complete 100 hours of professional development to maintain their teaching certifications.

North County Primary receives PLC Exemplary Award


Daily Journal
Missouri's North County Primary has received the Professional Learning Community Exemplary School Award. According to details about the program, a professional learning community is an ongoing process in which educators work collaboratively in recurring cycles of collective inquiry and action research to achieve better results for the students they serve. Professional learning communities operate under the assumption that the key to improved learning for students is continuous job-embedded learning for educators.


How state reform in New Hampshire led to teacher autonomy


Too often, teachers and administrators find themselves confined by district and state regulations that might not serve the needs of modern learners. But at Memorial Elementary School, one of two elementary schools in New Hampshire’s Sanborn Regional School District, administrators and teachers are given the freedom to experiment with cutting-edge ideas not in spite of district and state guidelines, but because of them. The independence granted to Memorial's teachers has empowered them to make changes at the school, which serves about 300 K-5 students.

Collaboration isn't new, but it doesn't mean you're doing it right


Education Week
Collaboration. It's at the tipping point of becoming a buzz word people hate to hear. Perhaps for some of you it already has hit that status. The reason why it becomes a buzz word is that we are put into collaborative groups where the decision we are working on has already been made. We really don't have a voice in the process. We were window dressing to make it all look good. Too many collaborative experiences have been manipulated by the man behind the curtain.



Are your improvement efforts getting the results you want?

Learning Forward supports leaders at all levels in transforming their systems into learning systems, where all educators engage in a measurable and scalable cycle of continuous improvement. Our high-impact consulting services provide you with the tools to transform professional learning, increase educator capacity, and improve student achievement.



Standards    |    Learning Opportunities    |    Publications    |    Get Involved    |    Who We Are






Keynote speakers confirmed for Learning Forward's 2017 Annual Conference


Learning Forward
Mark your calendars now. You won't want to miss this year's line-up of innovative and motivating keynote speakers:

Empowering Global Citizens Through Education, Innovation, and Reform
Fernando M. Reimers is the Ford Foundation Professor of the Practice in International Education and director of the Global Education Innovation Initiative and of the International Education Policy Master's Program at Harvard University. He has extensive experience advising governments, international development organizations, and foundations on the education of marginalized students and global education.

Leading & Learning From Partnerships and Relationships that Achieve Transformation
Kaya Henderson served as the Chancellor of DC Public Schools from 2010-2016. She is committed to holding all students to high expectations, providing them with access to high quality teachers and leaders, creating innovative instructional environments, and motivating students and engaging families.

Change, Agency, & Learning: Moving to Action
Hahrie Han is the Anton Vonk Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In her work, she seeks to develop the leadership of younger scholars and practitioners, especially women and people of color.

Learn more about our 2017 Annual Conference.




Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.