Education Week: Are teachers getting the right kind of Common-Core PD?

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By Stephen Sawchuck

“Well ... yes and no, according to a pair of new surveys from the RAND Corporation, a research and analysis firm. Teachers do seem to be getting a lot of professional development aligned to the common core in both English language arts and math. The problem is that it's not always focused on the topics that they say they need the most help on.

Instead, teachers seem to be saying: "OK, we totally get that there are these new standards. We even kinda know what they want us to do differently. But we still need help digging into the pedagogy on some of the finer points." The surveys are drawn from RAND's American Teacher Panel, which represents some 1,130 teachers. They are based on a random sample of panel members, weighted to account for differential responses and nonresponses. Let's take a look at findings in both subjects.”

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“Note that, in both subjects, more than half of teachers reported that "the content of state standards" was a focus of their professional development, but far fewer teachers said that focus reflected their needs (28 percent in math and 31 percent in English/language arts.) Teachers also said they got more PD on using assessment data to inform teaching than they really needed, and more on instructional strategies than they really needed.”

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