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CEO of Teaching Quality: Professional Development Often Inadequate

CEO of Teaching Quality: Professional Development Often Inadequate

A study will soon be released highlighting that the U.S. spends about $18 billion on professional development for educators annual, and much of that money is spent ineffectively.

So says Barnett Barry, founder and CEO of Center for Teaching Quality in a blog post on

"Most American teachers experience professional development that is woefully inadequate," he said. "Call it the worst-kept secret in education—and one of the field’s most baffling paradoxes. Why is a profession focused on learning so inept at supporting its practitioners to learn?"

Barry said the problem "is not a lack of investment." A recent report from the National School Boards Association "notes that American teachers have limited support in efforts to engage in more effective instructional shifts and lack sufficient time to learn from their more expert colleagues."

"A hard-hitting national study, not yet released, will soon reveal that states and districts spend about $18 billion annually on professional development. Let that sink in. $18 billion," Barry said. "These funds are spent in highly fragmented ways, typically driven by the preferences of local administrators [often at the district level] who make most of the decisions about how and what teachers are to learn."

The good news, Barry said, is that "we do know what effective professional learning looks like."

"Another report released in 2013 by the Center for American Progress, summarized the research succinctly," he said. "Effective professional development is aligned with school goals and assessments, sustained over time and job-embedded, focused on core content and active learning, and fueled by serious collaboration and coaching."

Barry then highlights five key reasons "why PD remains unchanged in the U.S."

Read the full story and comment below. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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