Bill Would Set Standards For Professional Development Programs

Tamara Hiler, social policy and politics fellow at Third Way, and Lanae Erickson Hatalsky, director of social policy and politics for Third Way, write at US News & World Report’s (3/19) “World Report” blog on the subject of teacher development and whether it is “improving teacher outcomes.” They add that Reps. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Donald Payne, Jr. (D-NJ) have introduced the Great Teaching and Leading for Great Schools Act, which is intended to “ensure that professional development for teachers and principals actually leads to increased student learning.” Should it be passed, they say it would “be a stark change from the status quo,” in which “almost no empirical evidence currently exists” regarding professional development programs. They view the new proposal as resting on Race to the Top “and other education reforms that now connect teachers to their students’ achievement.” They also note that the National Education Association “has endorsed” the bill.