Accountability in Professional Development: Best Practices in Border Schools

Barbara Graybeck

Abstract


Recently, because of increased concern over students' test scores, educators have placed more empha- sis on professional development as a means of bringing about changes in our nation's classrooms. In the spring of 2001, for example, the Texas A&M Regent's Initiative for Excellence held a two-day Teachers' Forum to exam- ine such issues. One of the major themes resulting from discussions among the participants at this Forum, dealt with the evaluation of the effectiveness of professional development in the schools. Those teachers and adminis- trators who were present, suggested that multiple mea- sures ofgains in srudent learning would be needed for this purpose (Litton, Cono!ey, Mehta, Guffey & Hopkins, 200 I). In other words, accountability should be at the core of the evaluation process in determining effective- ness of professional development. At the same time, student data can provide a useful tool when establishing priorities for professional development programs.

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