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June 5, 2017

Does Investing in Teacher Professional Development Make a Difference?

Hosted by the Learning Policy Institute, the Center for American Progress, and Learning Forward

Effective Teacher Professional Development

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed in this video belong solely to the speakers, and do not necessarily reflect the perspective of the Learning Policy Institute.

The Trump Administration’s proposed education budget eliminates the $2.1 billion in funding designated for Title II of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the major federal funding stream that districts use to support their teacher workforce through professional development and to ensure equitable access to high-quality teachers for all students. Such a massive reduction in funds would be a devastating blow to schools and districts, but does investing in teacher professional development make a difference? If so, what separates effective professional development from ineffective offerings?

These are among the critical questions addressed at a convening, co-sponsored by the Learning Policy Institute (LPI), the Center for American Progress, and Learning Forward. The program included a presentation of findings from a new review of research by LPI on professional development that results in student learning gains. Looking at 35 methodologically rigorous studies, the LPI report, Effective Teacher Professional Development, identifies seven key elements these programs share, signaling how states and districts can design professional learning to make a positive difference.

Following the report presentation, practitioners and policymakers in attendance discussed the ways federal, state, and local policy and resources can help support the implementation of high-quality professional learning opportunities for teachers.

Introductory remarks

Stephanie Hirsh, Executive Director, Learning Forward

Presentation of findings

Linda Darling-Hammond, President, Learning Policy Institute
Madelyn Gardner, Research and Policy Associate, Learning Policy Institute
Maria E. Hyler, Deputy Director, Washington DC office and Senior Researcher, Learning Policy Institute

Panel: What does the research say about elements of effective professional development?

Featured panelists

Stephanie Hirsh, Executive Director, Learning Forward
Casey Olsen, High School Language Arts Teacher, National Writing Project
Daniel Weisberg, CEO, TNTP
Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers

Moderated By

John Merrow, President, Learning Matters; Education Correspondent for PBS NewsHour

Panel: How can policy advance research-based best practices?

Featured panelists

Linda Darling-Hammond, President, Learning Policy Institute
Aaliyah Samuel, Director for Best Practices’ Education Division, National Governors Association
Lillian M. Lowery, Vice President for P-12 Policy and Practice, The Education Trust

Moderated By

Catherine Brown, Vice President of Education Policy, Center for American Progress

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