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Workbooks and Tools

Schools and District Tools

Professional Learning Plans: A Workbook for States, Districts, and Schools Professional learning plans establish short- and long-term guidance for professional learning and its implementation. This workbook offers information and tools to walk educators through seven planning steps, from data analysis to setting goals to identifying learning designs to monitoring impact. Effective plans help individuals, schools, districts, and states to coordinate learning experiences designed to achieve outcomes for educators and students.
Comprehensive Professional Learning System: A Workbook for States and Districts This workbook guides a team in reviewing, revising, or replacing an existing professional learning system. The process outlined and the tools included support the team in conducting all aspects of its work, usually done over several months, with continuous progress monitoring and input from research, experts, and constituents. The workbook is designed to be used by leaders in education agencies, including state departments or ministries of education, local school systems, and other governing agencies or organizations that provide professional learning.
Professional Learning Initiative Analysis: A Workbook for States and Districts Given what system leaders must accomplish with limited resources, they must make bold decisions about their current investments to achieve high-priority goals related to implementing college- and career-ready standards. This workbook is designed to guide users through a five-step process of understanding what professional learning is available in their system; what is known about it; how it contributes to achieving the system's goals; and what actions leaders might consider to increase the overall effectiveness, efficiency, and equity of professional learning.
Establishing Time for Professional Learning Finding time for job-embedded professional learning is one of the most frequently cited challenges with implementing the Common Core State Standards. The processes and tools in this workbook will provide educators, parents, and community leaders with resources to increase or refine the use of time for educator collaboration to achieve goals associated with any key initiative.
School-based Professional Learning for Implementing the Common Core Explore four units created to help principals and teacher leaders develop their capacity to facilitate school-based collaborative professional learning. Complete with background information, tools, slides, and handouts, the four modules cover key topics in leading professional learning tied to implementing content standards: Managing change, Facilitating learning teams, and Learning designs, and Standards for Professional Learning.
Guiding District Implementation of Common Core State Standards: Innovation Configuration Maps These Innovation Configuration maps were developed by a task force of Kentucky educators with support from Kentucky Department of Education, Appalachia Regional Comprehensive Center at Edvantia, and Learning Forward to align with the four pillars of Kentucky’s Leadership Networks. They are offered as a model for other states and districts to use to develop their own Innovation Configuration maps to support district implementation of Common Core State Standards, educator effectiveness, and student assessment.
Professional Learning Policy Review: A Workbook for States and Districts Designed to assist states and districts in conducting a self-guided review of current professional learning policies, this workbook presents a six-phase process for the review and includes 29 tools to facilitate the entire process as well as links to resources for accessing and studying professional learning policies. The tools include recommendations for leadership team members, meeting agendas, protocols, analysis guides, report outlines, and follow-up timelines.

Policy Briefs

Seizing the Moment: State Lessons for Transforming Professional Learning Explore this first look at lessons learned through Learning Forward's ongoing initiative to develop a comprehensive system of professional learning that spans the distance from the statehouse to the classroom. This policy brief underscores the importance of a coordinated state professional learning strategy, the adoption of professional learning standards, the value of assessing the quality of professional development being used, and strategies for leveraging state leadership to drive improvements at the regional and district level.
Meet the Promise of Content Standards: The Role of Third-Party Providers At a time when resource and service providers are proliferating and educators are challenged to identify appropriate instructional resources, this brief explores how district and state leaders can engage with third-party providers as partners. In particular, it describes how educators and developers can work together to find or create resources aimed at educating every student to meet rigorous content standards and supporting every educator to achieve high performance through continuous professional learning.
Meet the Promise of Content Standards: Tapping Technology to Enhance Professional Learning More stakeholders are turning to technology to advance the professional learning required to support new standards and evaluation systems. Yet how technology is used will determine its potential to influence educator practice and results for students. This brief outlines how technology can enhance professional learning, offers examples of how technology is being used to meet the demand generated by Common Core standards, provides guidelines for selecting and using technology as a resource for professional learning, and identifies common challenges and ways to avoid them.
Meet the Promise of Content Standards: The Principal Explore the critical role the principal plays in implementing the Common Core standards. In addition to outlining five key priorities principals address in any transformational change, the brief describes the specific actions principals take in standards implementation and the district support they require. The brief concludes with the challenges principals face and highlights recommendations for actions at the state, system, and school levels to ensure relevant policies, resources, and cultures are in place.
Meet the Promise of Content Standards: Investing in Professional Learning This brief details the critical attributes of professional learning necessary to achieve the vision of Common Core standards, and addresses the need for long-term commitment and resource investments from the nation and each state to achieve that vision. The brief explores calls attention to the urgent need for schools, districts, states, regional and national education agencies, and education vendors to change the allocation and application of professional learning resources. It also recommends new investments for states, districts, and school leaders to make in professional learning.
Meet the Promise of Content Standards: Professional Learning Required An informative brief on the critical role that professional learning plays in implementing content standards. Outlining a vision for educators supported through high-quality professional learning, the brief describes elements of effective professional learning as well as recommendations for action for educators at the federal, state, system, school, and individual level.
Meet the Promise of Content Standards: The Role of Technology for Teacher and Student Learning Understand how teachers use technology to implement Common Core, increase their instructional effectiveness, and support student learning. This brief describes the experiences of a small group of Kentucky teachers who participated in a study in which they applied technology solutions to support their own learning and that of their students. The brief includes several general observations about technology use based on the study, as well as recommendations for action for those in various roles.
Meet the Promise of Content Standards: The Role of Comprehensive Induction This brief examines how states, districts and schools can use a more comprehensive educator induction process to build the capacity of teachers and principals to successfully implement the new college and career-ready content standards.