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The Irving Independent School District (ISD) TIP Vertical Integration Laptop Project was evaluated during spring 2006 based on data gathered through six avenues.

In the coming years, schools will be hit with a trio of potent reforms: teacher evaluations that will include student test scores, widespread adoption of higher academic standards, and the development of high stakes standardized tests aligned with these new standards. Each of these reforms challenges the status quo, demanding that schools systematically and continuously improve student performance, marking and measuring their progress each and every step along the way.

The new reforms will require significant changes in the classroom. The Common Core State Standards that have been adopted by 46 states and the District of Columbia, represent a retreat from the traditional rote, fact-based style of instruction toward teaching that fosters critical thinking and problem solving. Even non-Common Core states are pursuing a college and career-ready agenda that calls for the development of these skills among students and holds schools accountable for doing so. To meet these new standards, teachers will have to learn new teaching practices.

This is not just about providing professional development but about providing effective professional development. Availability alone is not an issue. In fact, in a recent study, researchers found that while 90 percent of teachers reported participating in professional development, most of those teachers also reported that it was totally useless (Darling-Hammond et al, 2009). Thus, the real issue isn’t that teachers aren’t provided professional development, but
that the typical offerings are ineffective at changing teachers’ practice or student learning.