Giving Compass' Take:

· EdSource takes a look at California's response to teaching shortages and how Pomona Unified School District is rethinking professional learning for teachers to improve academic outcomes for students.

· How can donors support efforts to spur teacher-led learning and leadership? How can we scale Pomona's model of professional learning?

· Here's more on professional development for teachers and why it's so important.


California’s recent historic investment of over $133 million represents a timely response to teaching shortages and provides much-needed support to help grow and keep talent in schools. One of the most effective ways to prevent turnover, reduce the need for new teachers and improve educator efficacy is to allow for meaningful opportunities for teachers to learn, collaborate and share ideas with one another.

Researchers have found that when teachers’ professional learning is grounded in structured collaboration and allows time to engage in inquiry, it can both improve teaching and retention.

Pomona Unified School District, situated near Los Angeles, is rethinking professional learning in light of California’s Local Control Funding Formula, or LCFF, and the flexibility it provides districts to invest in people and programs to improve academic outcomes for students historically not served well by our education system.

We spent a year looking at the impact of the district’s efforts to improve learning for low-income students of color, who represent the majority of students in the district.

Pomona Unified has begun to move professional development away from workshops and trainings to teacher collaboration and peer coaching as a way to accelerate innovations in teaching that incorporate social and emotional learning supports for students.

Read the full article about teacher-led change by Barnett Berry, Joseph Bishop and Lori Nazareno at EdSource.