The Standards for Professional Learning (Learning Forward, 2011) is the third iteration of standards outlining the characteristics of professional learning that lead to effective teaching practices, supportive leadership, and improved student results.
Adopting the standards for professional learning:
Makes explicit MSDE's commitment to continuous improvement. Continuous professional learning throughout an educator's career provides the knowledge, skills, and support necessary to achieve desired results. Adopting standards for professional learning that call for learning communities, leadership, resources, data, learning, implementation, and outcomes signals a district's commitment to effective professional learning. Research has documented and practice has demonstrated the important relationship between high-quality professional learning and improved performance at the individual, school, and system levels.
Clarifies expectations for professional learning. The standards state clearly that professional learning advances educator competencies and student learning. They are aligned with the Race to the Top emphasis on teacher effectiveness, professional learning, and student learning. The Outcomes standard indicates that the focus of the professional learning must be on the performance competencies MSDE/Local Educational Agencies sets for educators and students. The standards focus professional learning on these competencies.
Informs a community of the importance of professional learning. School board members are frequently asked about a district's investment in professional learning. The phrase that opens each standard — "Professional learning that increases educator effectiveness and results for all students" — makes it clear that a district is investing in professional learning with the intention to improve teacher and student performance. The adoption of standards demonstrates an expectation that the district investment will achieve this outcome.
They offer website accessibility, including imbedded videos, research, and the ability to link and download to reduce duplication costs
Adapted from Executive Director, Learning Forward, Stephanie Hirsh, 2011