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description: tags: 081997a

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   f  e   d  e  r  a   l  r  e  g   i  s   t  e  r
TuesdayAugust 19, 1997
Part III
Department ofEducation
National Awards Program for HighQuality Professional Development: Notice
Federal Register
 /Vol. 62, No. 160/Tuesday, August 19, 1997/Notices
RIN 1850–ZA02
National Awards Program for High-Quality Professional Development
Department of Education.
Notice of Proposed Eligibilityand Selection Criteria.
The Secretary proposeseligibility and selection criteria togovern the National Awards Program forModel Professional Development forFiscal Year 1998. Under these criteria,the National Awards Program wouldrecognize a variety of schools andschool districts with model professionaldevelopment activities in the pre-kindergarten through twelfth gradelevels that have led to increases instudent achievement.
Comments must be received bythe Department on or before September18, 1997.
All comments concerningthese proposed definitions and selectioncriteria should be addressed to SharonHorn, Office of Educational Researchand Improvement, 555 New JerseyAvenue, NW—Room 506E, Washington,DC 20208 phone: 202–219–2203.Comments also may be sent by e-mail tosharon
horn@ed.gov or by FAX at(202) 219–2198.Comments that concern informationcollection requirements must be sent tothe Office of Management and Budget atthe address listed in the Paperwork Reduction Act section of this notice. Acopy of those comments may also besent to the Department representativenamed in the
Sharon Horn, phone: (202) 219–2203.Individuals who use atelecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal InformationRelay Service (FIRS) at 1–800–877–8339between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Throughthis notice the Secretary proposesdefinitions and criteria to governapplications for recognition submittedunder the second National AwardsProgram for Model ProfessionalDevelopment. This Program began in1996, in coordination with a wide rangeof national education organizations, tohighlight and recognize schools andschool districts whose professionaldevelopment activities are aligned withthe statement of Mission and Principlesof Professional Development that theDepartment developed in 1994. SeeAppendix A. This second NationalAwards Program, to be conductedduring Fiscal Year (FY) 1998, will beimplemented in ways similar to lastyear’s program (see, for example, theNotice Inviting Applications for Awardspublished in the
Federal Register
onJune 14, 1996 at 61 FR 30450), but withcriteria designed to better informapplicants of the kind of informationthat successful applicants will need toprovide. Again this year, the Secretarywould recognize successful applicantsat a ceremony in Washington, D.C., andpresent each successful applicant withan award of not less than $5,000 that therecipient could use to expand, promoteor publicize its professionaldevelopment activities.The reasons for wanting to continuethe National Awards Program are clear.Schools and school districts throughoutthe Nation are undertaking efforts toraise academic standards and toimprove the academic achievement of all students. For these efforts to besuccessful they must include strategiesfor permitting teachers (and otherschool and local educational agency(LEA) staff) to obtain the skills andknowledge they need to enable allstudents to achieve. Indeed, whateverthe school reform initiative, teachers arethe core. However, teachers need accessto new knowledge and skills to enablethem to continue to teach to higherstandards and to respond to thechallenges facing education today.Realizing that high-qualityprofessional development must be at thecore of any effort to achieve educationalexcellence, the Secretary in 1994directed a broadly representative teamwithin the U.S. Department of Education to examine the best availableresearch and exemplary practicesrelated to professional development,and work with the field to develop a setof basic principles of high-qualityprofessional development. Out of thisnational effort came the Department’sStatement of Mission and Principles of Professional Development. Thisstatement reflected both extensivecollaboration with a wide range of education constituents and review of public comment received on a draftStatement of Mission and Principles of Professional Development published inthe
Federal Register
on December 9,1994 (59 FR 63773). The Departmentissued the final Statement of Missionand Principles (Appendix A) in 1995after review of public comment andreexamination of the best availableresearch on exemplary practices. Thisstatement is grounded in the practicalwisdom of leading educators across thecountry about the kind of professionaldevelopment that, if implemented,maintained, and supported, will have apositive and lasting effect on teachingand learning in America.The Statement of Mission andPrinciples of Professional Developmentrepresents a framework for guidingschool and school district staff as theydesign and implement their professionaldevelopment activities. Many of thesame national education organizationsthat worked with the Department todevelop the Mission and Principles of Professional Development sought theDepartment’s help last year inidentifying and recognizing thoseprofessional development efforts acrossthe pre-kindergarten through twelfthgrade spectrum that reflect the Missionand Principles. Given the efforts of schools and school districts throughoutthe Nation to pursue school reforminitiatives, the Secretary agreed withthese organizations about the urgentneed to identify sites whoseprofessional development activities canbe models for other schools and districtsthat are working to enhance their ownprofessional development activities.Therefore, the Secretary last yearannounced the first National AwardsProgram for Model ProfessionalDevelopment. The public expressedgreat interest in the program, and theDepartment received over 100applications. In February of this year,the Department recognized five schoolsand school districts in Massachusetts,Connecticut, Kansas and California forthe high quality of their professionaldevelopment activities and the link between those activities and improvedstudent learning. But the importance of high-quality professional developmentto successful strategies to increasestudent achievement demands that thisAwards Program be continued, andmore schools and school districts havethe opportunity for national recognition.Therefore, the Secretary is pleased topropose definitions and criteria togovern the second National AwardsProgram.The Secretary will announce the finaleligibility and selection criteria in anotice in the
Federal Register
. The finaleligibility and selection criteria will bedetermined by responses to this noticeand other considerations of theDepartment.
This notice does not solicitapplications. A notice inviting applicationsunder this competition will be published inthe
Federal Register
concurrent with orfollowing publication of the notice of finaleligibility and selection criteria.
Proposed Eligibility Criteria
As with last year’s program, eligibleapplicants would be schools and schooldistricts in the States (including schools
Federal Register
 /Vol. 62, No. 160/Tuesday, August 19, 1997/Notices
located on Indian reservations, and inthe District of Columbia, Puerto Rico,and the outlying areas) that provideeducational programs in the pre-kindergarten through twelfth gradelevels.The Secretary also proposes to retainapplication selection criteria that arebuilt on two key elements: (1) Ademonstration that the professionaldevelopment activities are fully alignedwith the Mission and Principles of Professional Development, and (2) ademonstration of how, consistent withthe Mission and Principles, theprofessional development activitiesbenefit all affected students, and haveled to improved student achievementand improved teacher effectiveness. Asnoted above, the statement of Missionand Principles of ProfessionalDevelopment reflects broad agreementof what is ‘‘best practice.’’ It wasprepared in collaboration with a greatmany national educational associationsand upon review of public comment.The Secretary believes that professionaldevelopment activities can only beconsidered exemplary if they, in fact,are linked to increased studentachievement.Again, this year, the format of applications would remain fairlysimple. However, the applicationmaterial would be revised to betteridentify topics applicants would need toaddress to demonstrate alignment withthe Mission and Principles of Professional Development and a link toincreased student achievement. Inaddition, to promote fairness amongthose seeking recognition under theNational Awards Program, allapplications would need to be preparedin accordance with formattinginstructions included in the applicationpacket.
Proposed Selection Criteria
Applicants would be free to developtheir applications in any way theychoose as long as they comply with therequirements set out in the applicationpacket. The degree to which applicantsdemonstrate alignment with the Missionand Principles of ProfessionalDevelopment and a link to increasedstudent achievement would beevaluated using the following criteria:
Guiding Principles:
In evaluatingapplications for the National AwardsProgram, reviewers will look to seewhether the application, taken as awhole, demonstrates that the school’s orschool district’s professionaldevelopment activities iscomprehensive and leads to improvedteacher effectiveness and increasedstudent achievement. In doing so,reviewers would be guided by the extentto which and how well applicantsrespond to the following criteria, themost important of which would concernobjective evidence of success. Eachproposed criterion includes one or morequestions that are designed to helpapplicants formulate their responses. Itwould not be necessary for applicants toanswer each question individually. But,taken as a whole, the description of their professional developmentactivities should respond to the topic of each criterion with enough informationso that reviewers can determine whetherthe school or district’s professionaldevelopment is comprehensive andleads to improved teacher effectivenessand increased student achievement.
 A. Background and Overview of Professional Development 
In this section applicants wouldprovide a brief explanation of why theyconsider professional development intheir schools or districts exemplary bydescribing its key components andrelating those to the U.S. Department of Education’s Principles of ProfessionalDevelopment. This description wouldprovide evidence that the professionaldevelopment activities are not narrowlyfocused on one subgroup of students orstaff within the school or district.In responding to this criterion,applicants should consider thefollowing questions:1. What are the infrastructure,content, and process components of professional development in the schoolor district?2. How does professionaldevelopment in the applicant’s schoolor district reflect the U.S. Department of Education’s Mission and ProfessionalDevelopment Principles?3. Why does the applicant considerprofessional development in the schoolor district to be exemplary?
 B. Goals and Outcomes
In this section, applicants woulddescribe their professional developmentgoals, how they were developed, howthey relate to school improvement, andhow they are based on needs assessmentand address the achievement of allstudents (regardless of gender; socio-economic level; disadvantaged status;racial, ethnic or cultural background;exceptional abilities or disabilities; orlimited English proficiency), not just asubgroup. Applicants also wouldaddress the changes in teaching andstudent learning that are expected toresult from professional development.In doing so, they would include howprofessional development goals andoutcomes promote teaching andlearning to high standards.In responding to this criterion,applicants should consider thefollowing questions:1. What are the applicant’s broadgoals of professional development in itsschool or district?2. What are the applicant’s goals forALL students’ achievement throughprofessional development?3. What are the ways that theprofessional development goals areconnected to the school or district’slong-term school improvement plans?4. What process was used to create theprofessional development goals andplan, and who is involved in thedevelopment?5. What are the ways in whichteachers’ professional developmentneeds are assessed and incorporated inthe plan for professional development?6. How do the professionaldevelopment goals and outcomes focuson increasing teachers’ expertise inteaching to high standards?7. What changes in teaching andstudent learning result fromparticipation in professionaldevelopment in the school or district?What was the rationale for believingthese changes would result in improvedteaching and learning?
C. Professional Development Design and  Implementation
Overall, the applicant’s response tothis section would show how thecontext, content and processes of itsprofessional development activities areconsistent with the Department’sMission and Principles of ProfessionalDevelopment. The description wouldprovide evidence that professionaldevelopment reflects research and bestpractice; includes comprehensiveevaluation; includes organizationalstructures (e.g., roles and policy) andresources (e.g., use of time, expertise,funds) that support it; promotescontinuous inquiry and improvement;and, ensures that the larger schoolcommunity understands its importanceto school improvement.The applicant would describe thedata-based processes that are used forchecking that professional developmentis connected to the school or districtimprovement plan and that theprofessional development designsupports the attainment of expectedchanges in teaching practice andstudent learning. The description wouldinclude any formal and informalprocesses used to routinely collectinformation for monitoring how theschool or district is progressing towardtheir goals; for assessing the links

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