Giving Compass' Take:

• Professional development may soon be in the hands of teachers after the Department of Education proposed funding teacher-driven programs. District leaders say some standards should still apply. 

• What are the benefits of teacher-driven professional development? 

• Read about why teacher development needs to be personalized. 

The Trump administration, as part of its fiscal year 2020 budget proposal for the U.S. Department of Education, wants to fund and evaluate a demonstration of “teacher-driven” professional development (PD).

The budget request is based on Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos hearing that “teachers are generally very unhappy with professional development in their districts right now,” James Blew, the department's assistant secretary for planning, evaluation and policy development, said earlier this month when the budget was released.

Over the past several years, however, several districts across the country have already been letting teachers steer their way through the array of learning opportunities available to them. And some are closely watching the impact of those efforts.

In a report prepared for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation — which has provided funding for several districts to redesign their PD systems — LBUSD also highlighted that all of the documents, podcasts, presentations, videos and other resources available through myPD have been “created, curated and assessed through a comprehensive workflow to ensure quality and alignment to core district Teaching and Learning Framework priorities.”

While the district has not yet evaluated the connection between using myPD and specific teacher outcomes, Seki said increasingly “when there is discussion in the district around a new initiative, new curriculum or instructional/pedagogical focus, the first wondering is, ‘How can we leverage myPD to move the work forward?’”

Even with the work that districts have done to build more choice into their PD systems, however, surveys have shown some teachers still wish they had more input into how districts spend the funds they have for PD.

Read the full article about teachers' professional development by Linda Jacobson at Education Dive