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No Educator Left Behind:
Professional Development

No Educator Left Behind is a series providing answers from the U.S. Department of Education to questions about the federal No Child Left Behind Act and how it will affect educators.


How can states help school districts adopt and implement more effective teacher professional development activities?

U.S. Department of Education:

States can help school districts in numerous ways, including

  • developing guidance on effective strategies for improving teacher quality and providing that guidance to local education agencies;
  • adopting a formal statement of state priorities;
  • improving technical assistance and monitoring for local education agencies;
  • sponsoring conferences and other meetings that address issues related to improving teacher performance; and
  • disseminating information about successful programs and practices.

In providing that assistance, states should consider the needs of all teachers -- whether they're regular classroom teachers, special education teachers, or teachers of English language learners -- so that a unified, comprehensive system of professional development is available to all who need to be highly qualified. States also could provide guidance to local education agencies on effective ways of coordinating resources that are available for professional development from such programs as Title I and Title III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA; the No Child Left Behind Act is the most recent reauthorization of this act) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Part B.

Read previous questions and answers in our No Educator Left Behind archive.