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August 28, 2017

Webinar: How Investing in Teacher and Leader Professional Development Can Support Student Success

Webinar Professional Learning 920f

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.

Research has proven that classroom instruction and effective school leadership are the top two in-school factors in raising student achievement. Yet, educational systems must afford educators the necessary opportunities for professional learning and growth as they work to elevate teaching and learning in all schools. Title II of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is the major federal funding stream that provides flexibility for states and districts to support professional development for their teacher, paraprofessional, and school leader workforce to help ensure all students have equitable access to high-quality teachers and principals. Proposals and actions to reduce or eliminate the funding raises the following questions: Does investing in teacher and leader professional development make a difference? And if so, what separates effective professional development from ineffective offerings?

During this webinar, researchers shared findings from a new review on professional development that improves students’ academic outcomes. The Learning Policy Institute reviewed 35 methodologically rigorous studies and identified seven key common elements of effective professional development, which states and districts can use to design effective professional learning programs. Panelists also discussed promising, evidence-based investments in school leadership, including those contained in ESSA state plans that take advantage of the optional Title II, Part A leadership set-aside.


  • Dr. Cade Brumley, Superintendent, DeSoto Parish School System, Louisiana
  • Michelle Dickey, Teacher, District of Columbia Public Schools, Washington, D.C., and Professional Development Trainer, Washington Teachers Union
  • Madelyn Gardner, Research and Policy Associate, Learning Policy Institute
  • Maria E. Hyler, Deputy Director, Washington DC office and Senior Researcher, Learning Policy Institute
  • Kasandra Nelson, Elementary Lead-Learner, Vici Elementary Schools, Vici, Oklahoma, and Zone 8 Director, National Association of Elementary School Principals