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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Economic Stimulus Proposal Ideas - Pro/Con

This article from the NSDC Blog stayed with me the last couple of days and as I was thinking of pros and cons to their ideas... I came up with a few, as always please add to the discussion.
"these funds have the potential to significantly impact the reach and quality of professional learning for all educators. Given the time constraints surrounding this legislation, the funds must be used on one-time investments vs. programs with ongoing commitments. Most importantly, these funds must be applied in ways that demonstrate to the investors --the public -- a significant improvement in teaching and learning in schools."

* Prepare more instructional coaches by developing the knowledge and skills necessary to support improved educator practice and student learning.
Pro: direct impact in the schools.
Con:Teachers may feel "forced" to reform and that could backfire

* Prepare more teacher leaders to advance the NSDC definition of professional development.
Pro: Professional Development funding
Con:No direct benchmarks named to assess successes.

* Contract with one or more external consultants to provide one-on-one technical assistance to principals to create new master schedules that enable collaborative teacher teams to engage in professional learning two or more times each week.

Pro: Ideas coming form outside the traditional arenas. Michael Bennett a great example of this.
Con: Lack of understanding for professional philosophies and ideas.

* Identify and support demonstration sites to serve as models of excellence in implementing effective professional learning.
Pro: Learning from a best practices frame of mind
Con: lack of transparency in selection process available right now.

* Provide two-years of intensive coaching and instructional leadership support for principals in low-performing schools.
Pro: Get the help where it is most needed.
Con: seems like a band aid on a broken leg philosophy

* Provide two-years of intensive technical assistance and support for leadership teams in low-performing schools.
Pro: Create cultural change valuing professional development
Con:Mandatory, not by choice could lead to resentment.

* Conduct a Professional Learning Audit; organize a local task force to critically review and assess the purpose, form, and results from professional development in the school district. Similarly, administer and use the results of NSDC's Standards Assessment Inventory.
Pro; thorough data gathering could give good information and lead to change
Con: slow process...anyone on a committee at school nows it will not go quickly.

* Organize, facilitate, and support volunteer teams of teachers who want to pilot the continuous cycle of improvement described in NSDC's definition of professional development. Contract with one or more external consultants or institutions of higher education to document and assess each team's experience.

Pro: Motivation through intrinsic rewards and being part of something bigger
Con: More work not more money for overworked teachers

This was just the rambling in my head as I read this article, I'm sure there is so much more that I hadn't even thought of, please share.
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