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FY `96 Required Planning and Spending for Professional Development

To: Superintendents, School Committee Chairs, Principals
From: Robert V. Antonucci

The legislature and Governor indicated their support for the importance of local staff development to help all students reach the goals of the Common Core of Learning when they approved in the state budget a line item of $25.00 per student to go directly to school districts for professional development.

In a related act, in June the Board of Education adopted a State Plan for Professional Development for FY `96 which provides a framework for strengthening the capacity of teachers and administrators to help all students reach the goals of the Common Core of Learning. Each school district now needs to adopt, budget for, and implement an annual professional development plan to train its teachers, administrators, and professional staff.

The three priorities of the State Plan are:

  • Curriculum Frameworks
    • Content and learning standards for students
    • Teaching, learning, and assessment practices
    • Approaches to restructuring schools
  • Educational Leadership that results in improving educators' practice in schools
  • Educational Technology that expands the integration of technology into teaching, learning, and educational management

The two enclosed -- the State Plan and the policy statement -- are important and valuable tools based on strong research. We all need to work together to build the capacity of educators to help all of our students maximize their learning. We encourage districts to use these documents in their district planning for professional development.

Massachusetts Board of Education Policy Regarding Local Professional Development Plans and Activities for the 1995-1996 School Year

It is the policy of the Massachusetts Department of Education that local professional development plans and activities for the 1995-1996 school year, including those funded through the $25 per pupil specially designated FY `96 state education aid funds, shall be consistent with the goals and priorities of the FY `96 State Plan for Professional Development.

It shall be a goal of every local school district professional development plan that the district's teachers, administrators and other professional staff will, through participation in the district's professional development offerings, enhance their ability to support all students in achieving the standards of the Common Core of Learning.

School committees and superintendents shall ensure that these professional development plans and offerings:

  1. Are of high quality, as demonstrated by
    • active engagement of educators in learning new information, skills and knowledge that are linked to the district's commitment to strengthen student achievement
    • ongoing, intensive, and multi-faceted design features
    • research-based content and approaches
  2. Focus on the following priority areas:
    • Curriculum Frameworks (including the content and learning standards for students, teaching, learning and assessment practices for educators, and classroom and school restructuring models)
    • new approaches to Educational Leadership that results in improved teacher and administrator practice in schools
    • expansion of the use of Technology to support teaching, learning and educational administration

*Adopted by the Massachusetts Board of Education July 20, 1995

Last Updated: August 16, 1995
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