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Mission Possible: Improving Academic and Behavioral Results for Children with Disabilities through Sustained Research Based Professional Development Deborah Bilzing, M. S. /Ed. S. Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction OSEP Regional Meeting November, 2008
“For far too many teachers in the United States, staff development is a demeaning, mind numbing experience as they passively “sit and get. ” As one observer put it, “I hope I die during an in-service session because the transition between life and death would be so subtle. ” Sparks, (2004, p. 247)
In the Beginning: The State Personnel Development Grant, Wisconsin’s Personnel Development System (WPDS). Focus: to improve education results for children with disabilities through the delivery of research based professional development that is implemented and sustained by statewide and local training and technical assistance systems which include communities and family organizations, institutions of higher education, CESA’s, and early intervention agencies.
WPDS’s Three Identified Goals: Goal 1: Increase the application of a scientifically based personnel development model, WPDM, in identified core content areas through both preservice and in-service for educators, parents and early interventionists in targeted LEAs and communities. Goal 2: Sustain implementation of new knowledge and skills through regional infrastructure that provides and supports ongoing learning utilizing trained mentors, communities of practice and other proven strategies. Goal 3: Increase participation of communities, families and youth in the system change process that results in organizations with the capacity to engage, support, and transition children with disabilities birth-26.
What structures are in place to meet the goals of the WPDS? WPDS will utilize the 5 hubs to deliver, support and provide impact data on targeted professional development opportunities at a regional, community or district level. 5 Hubs– – – Early Childhood Collaboration Responsive Education for All Children (REACh) Transition to Post-secondary Parent Leadership and Involvement Institutes of Higher Education
Food for Thought Districts spend a lot of $ to buy teacher time for pd, however there is little accountability for the use of or impact on student achievement. In most districts a few departments control the majority of the district-level spending on pd with efforts usually not coordinated and inconsistent. With heavy reliance on federal, special program and private funds, pd in most districts lack long range planning. Odd en, 2005
More Food For Thought “Districts (State Education Agencies) spend much more on professional development than they think, and most of it is neither actively managed nor explicitly linked to a district (or state) strategic plan” Odden, 2005
Wisconsin Personnel Development Model (WPDM) (How we deliver effective, sustained, professional development that builds the capacity of service providers to improve student outcomes) A structure for professional development that is focused, collaborative, and that directly supports a school improvement process and goals for student achievement.
More Thoughtful Food “The ultimate indicator of effective professional development is improved student outcomes. ” (NSDC, 2001)
“We take what we know and we talk about what could be. We stretch what we are to help us be more than what we have already been successful at. . We envision a future that is a collage of the best. Because we have derived a future from reality, we know it can happen. ” C Pollard
Questions/Comments/Observations Deborah Bilzing deborah. [email protected]. wi. gov Wisconsin Personnel Development System wispdg. org