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Professional Development
part of the Education Reform Network
Professional Development logo


Staff development that improves the learning of all students requires resources to support adult learning and collaboration.


The National Staff Development Council�s position is that well designed and implemented professional development for school employees is an essential long-term investment in successfully teaching all students to high standards. The following links support this standard:

  • High Poverty Doesn�t Have to Mean Low Performance
    A study by EdTrust found lessons learned from high-performing, high-poverty from urban and rural schools could apply to all schools. This article identify the characteristics of these schools, which include proportioning larger amount of funds to professional development, having instructional facilitators involved in study sessions and grade level meetings, involving parents, and holding adults responsible for student learning.
  • International Society for Technology in Education
    Home site of the National Educational Technology Standards. Provides an online assessment for technology in a district or school.
  • Layer Support for Teachers to Improve Student Learning
    Balfanz and MacIver, researchers from Johns Hopkins University, identified 3 essential components for a systematic approach to staff development: be selective and develop expertise in limited number of programs, provide support to teachers in multiple layers, and establish district policies that support the efforts.
  • Middle Education Global Activities (MEGA)
    MEGA provides K-12 teachers greater opportunities to improve their technology skills and focus on specific content areas in addition to interdisciplinary projects specific to the North Carolina Standard Course of Study.
  • Results Spring From Aligning With Goals
    Multiple programs compete for personnel and time as resources. It is important to align staff development with the school/district goal(s) to ensure resources focus on improved student achievement.
  • Target Time Toward Teachers
    While there is growing consensus that professional development should be sustained and ongoing, embedded in teachers� daily activities, and connected to their work with students, current school structures and schedules make this virtually impossible in many schools. To improve student learning, schools will need structures and schedules that provide time for complex teaching and long-term relationships � conditions that give serious, ongoing assistance to learners.
  • Think Outside the Clock: Create Time for Professional Learning
    Finding time for professional learning requires teachers to be flexible in thinking about their schedules, willing to make trade-offs, and clear about the connection between teachers� learning and improvement in student learning. The article provides ways to find time and gives examples of schools that have found time.