A Message from the LFKS President
Wow!!! What a year we have had!
It has been a whirlwind of change as we’ve worked to continue to increase our reach for effective and quality professional learning across the state.
In these uncertain times, we have decided that it is important for our organization to continue looking forward. The Learning Forward Kansas board recently met at our annual Advance. Our organization is lucky to have amazing educators working on our behalf. During our Advance, time was spent reconnecting professionally, reflecting on the year and the achievements, and planning for the 2016-17 school year. So much work was completed.
Our organization is moving into a new world next year, one of maximizing social media and increasing learning opportunities into short just-in-time segments, in addition to our regular leadership conference, February 1-2, 2017…read more
Professional Learning in the News
Charlotte Danielson on Rethinking Teacher Evaluation
by Charlotte Danielson
The idea of tracking teacher accountability started with the best of intentions and a well-accepted understanding about the critical role teachers play in promoting student learning. The focus on teacher accountability has been rooted in the belief that every child deserves no less than good teaching to realize his or her potential. But as clear, compelling, and noncontroversial as these fundamental ideas were, the assurance of great teaching for every student has proved exceedingly difficult to capture in either policy or practice...
...I'm deeply troubled by the transformation of teaching from a complex profession requiring nuanced judgment to the performance of certain behaviors that can be ticked off on a checklist. In fact, I (and many others in the academic and policy communities) believe it's time for a major rethinking of how we...read more
Connections in Kansas
By the LFKS Staff
•May 20, 2016•
This exciting new post features the wisdom, ideas, and effective strategies of Kansas authors who support the LFKS vision of Excellent Teaching and Learning Every Day. Kansas is blessed to have many quality educators and leaders who believe in the power of effective professional learning and utilize this as the vehicle for improving instructional practice and student results. Many of these educators have been willing to share their knowledge and skills through published works, blogs, workshops, and other venues so that all Kansas educators and their students can benefit. This post celebrates three Kansas authors, Jim Knight, Marceta Reilly and Kelly Gillespie, who have written books that focus on improving our practice through better conversations, coaching conversations…read more
News from KSDE
Kansas State Department of Education Commissioner Randy Watson unveiled the “Kansans Can'” vision for education in Kansas at the the KSDE Annual Conference on October 27th, 2015.
Commissioner Watson said, “Kansans have never backed down from a challenge, especially where our children are concerned. We have top educators in this state. We have great leadership throughout our schools, and we have a robust business community. The pieces are there – we just have to get them all working together. Kansans Can!”…read more
Connections with Learning Forward
By Eric Celeste
•April 15, 2016•
In 2011, Learning Forward revealed its third iteration of Standards for Professional Learning — seven characteristics of professional learning that lead to effective teaching practices, supportive leadership, and improved student results. The 2011 standards (see p. 11), built on those issued in 1994 and revised in 2001, combine decades of research, lessons learned, and input from 40 professional education organizations.
Undergirding all seven standards is this fundamental premise: The purpose of professional learning is for educators to develop the knowledge, skills, practices, and dispositions they need to help students perform at higher levels. The standards are not a prescription for how education leaders and public officials should
address all the challenges related to improving the performance of educators and their students. The standards focus on one critical issue — professional learning.
The seven standards focus attention on educator learning that relates to successful student learning, and it is vital that we support all educators in doing the same. Every educator requires professional learning that is interactive, relevant, sustained, and embedded in everyday practice. Only by achieving such a vision for professional learning is equity of access to high-quality education for every student possible.
It is not a simple matter to connect the dots between high quality professional learning and student outcomes. However, the theory of action that drives the standards, and indeed much of Learning Forward’s work, is a continuous model of improvement: Standards-based professional learning leads to greater overall educator expertise, which causes changes in educator practice that results in better student outcomes (see “Relationship between professional learning and student results”). There is much embedded in each of those four circles, and the aim of this issue of JSD is to encourage readers to explore the ideas behind the standards in depth through a range of lenses and consider next actions…read more