Feb 112016

Educator Improvement – Professional Educator Development – PD

Educator Improvement – Professional Educator Development – Study: Billions of dollars in annual teacher training is largely a waste

Educator Improvement – Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly referred to TNTP, the non-profit organization that released a new study about professional development for teachers, by its former name. The story has been updated.

Educator Improvement – By Lyndsey Layton,  August 4, 2015


Quite simply traditional teacher training is one size fits all, which rarely, if ever, results in individual performance improvement (at best, superficial initial understanding, which is soon forgotten, is achieved, for the “middle 20-30% of the total participants – hardly an adaptive learning outcome). Think about that last large seminar you participated in and how your on the job performance was impacted (Can you measure the long term, positive impact on your performance? Most likely not. Most participants can’t.) Insanity is repeating the same thing over and over again, expecting a different outcome.Teacher PD, under the one size fits all paradigm is insanity, by definition.

Why Don’t we Differentiate Professional Development (PD)? ; Keep in mind, traditional teaching is also one size fits all and has similar, non productive, individual student, performance improvement outcomes. See why there is a real problem with traditional one size fits all teaching paradigms (think large lecture)?

Just for “fun” divide $8,000,000,000 by 315 Million Americans and see what we’re spending per American on teacher development, that is not impacting teacher performance, it’s intended objective. Then consider that this flawed teaching methodology is also be used by teachers to teach their students. At some point here, we’ll be talking some real taxpayer money, missing its intended target.

And since one size fits all, event based training (lecture) is also the way traditional educators teach:

50.1 Million students not getting adaptive learning skills

3.1 Million teachers @18,000 each not getting adaptive PD benefits (from above and below)

$634 Billion spent to educate kids with little adaptive learning benefit

20.2 Million college students not getting adaptive learning skills (@15k per year plus)

Then add the social costs for drop outs, that have been failed by a flawed system of teaching: Incarceration, Crime, Drug Abuse/Rehabilitation, Welfare Costs (Medicaid), Food Banks, Uninsured Medical Costs Written Off, Loss of Tax Revenue Due to Unemployment/Underemployment, et.al.

Then add the waste in corporate one size fits all training (Event based, seminars/elearning) which does not empower participants with adaptive learning skills

NOW we are talking some real monies being spent to maintain a one size fits all teaching paradigm, that the research reflects DOES NOT empower participants with adaptive learning skills (the ability to use key information in new and differing future scenarios, to advance individual performance improvement outcomes).

The funny part is that we know what to do to change this, but collectively, we choose not to (or make incremental interim, unproductive “revolutionary” changes like MOOCs, which initially, replicated the one size fits all teaching, in an online format – recorded one size fits all lectures delivered online, which did nothing to empower participants with adaptive learning skills.)

Here is what it takes to individually create fluency, appropriate application skills, behavior change and sustained performance improvement (adaptive learning ) outcomes. Compare this to an individual, taking a one size fits all lecture, online.

KUDOS to each and every individual and entity that understands this systemic problem of teaching vs learning and has taken positive action to fix it. I know there are LOTS of you out there who are advocates for positive change!!!

This is NOT somebody else’s problem. Collectively, if we understand what works, embrace change and only implement solutions that have been proven to work we can make a positive impact on sustained, individual adaptive learning outcomes for ALL students (at risk, traditional and gifted)


A new study of 10,000 teachers found that professional development — the teacher workshops and training that cost taxpayers billions of dollars each year — is largely a waste.

The study released Tuesday by TNTP, a nonprofit organization, found no evidence that any particular approach or amount of professional development consistently helps teachers improve in the classroom.

“We are bombarding teachers with a lot of help, but the truth is, it’s not helping all that much,” said Dan Weisberg, TNTP’s chief executive. “We are not approaching this in a very smart way. We’re basically throwing a lot of things against the wall and not even looking to see whether it works.”

[Read TNTP’s study]

Researchers examined three large school districts as well as one network of charter schools. They looked at professional development programs at all the schools and teacher performance data over several years, and they surveyed 10,000 teachers and interviewed more than 100 administrators. They identified teachers who improved their job performance and tried to figure out what experiences they had that differed from teachers who were stagnant. To determine if a teacher had improved, researchers analyzed multiple measures — evaluation ratings, classroom observation and student test scores.

And they didn’t find many answers.

“When it comes to teaching, real improvement is a lot harder to achieve — and we know much less about how to make it happen — than most of us would like to admit,” Weisberg said.

The school districts that participated in the study spent an average of $18,000 per teacher annually on professional development. Based on that figure, TNTP estimates that the 50 largest school districts spend an estimated $8 billion on teacher development annually. That is far larger than previous estimates.

Educator Improvement – Read The Rest of the Article, Here

Supporting Resources:

Why Don’t We Differentiate Professional Development?

“Disrupting Traditional PD.” Practice What You Preach!

The Teacher Curse No One Wants to Talk About

Teachers Working Harder, Not Smarter

Research Available, BUT Not Properly Utilized

When ‘Highly Qualified’ Teachers Aren’t

What it Takes to Measurably Advance, Sustained, Individual, Performance Improvement

Strategically, Habitually and Perpetually, Missing the Real Problem (Missing the Forest/Focusing on the Trees)

Percent of Ed Tech Leaders Surveyed Whose Districts Have Invested in Personalized Learning: 97%

The Paradox of Classroom Technology: Despite Proliferation and Access, Students Not Using Technology for Learning

Incremental vs Revolutionary Transformation: How School Innovation Works, the case of New Tech Schools

What is Educationally Innovative?

Best Practices Education

Student Performance Improvement

Culture Change: How 200+ K-12 Schools Have Scaled Systems and Processes 

How to Scale Personalized Learning

Pedagogy Ed Tech

Educationally Innovative Software

Supporting Research

Results: Districts Schools (IS YOUR School Empowering ALL Teachers to Empower ALL Students With Sustained Success? This Means the Elimination of the Education Gap)


Having a Masters Degree Does Not Empower Teachers to Empower Students With Success (Masters Comment is at 4:50)

Do Master’s Degrees Matter? (The Issue IS the ability to effectively, efficiently, consistently and affordably TRANSFER relevant information TO ALL STUDENTS, that creates, sustained performance improvement outcomes, FOR ALL STUDENTS

Student Numbers Classes – Common Myths

Paradigm Paralysis

Widget Effect

Dunning–Kruger Effect

I’m open to a discussion on how to empower ALL teachers to empower ALL students, with sustained success performance improvement outcomes.

For those of you that don’t agree with the above, rather than simply nay-saying the facts, which accomplish’s nothing productive, please provide supporting, credible, documented research, that contradicts the above.

Opinions, historically maintain the incumbent, flawed, traditional education paradigm of 20th century, one size fits all teaching, by emotionally and unproductively diverting the issues from the forest (advancing sustained, student success outcomes, for all students, to the trees (tenure, collective bargaining, class size, poverty, money, parents, student grit, et.al).


Tom McDonald, tsm@centurytel.net; 608-788-5144; Skype: tsmw5752

educator improvement