Click to open resource.

Whitmore Schanzenbach, D. (2014)  Does Class Size Matter? National Education Policy Center.

This policy brief summarizes the academic literature on the impact of class size and finds

that class size is an important determinant of a variety of student outcomes, ranging from

test scores to broader life outcomes. Smaller classes are particularly effective at raising

achievement levels of low-income and minority children.



Morrissey, M.S. (2000.) Professional Learning Communities: An Ongoing Exploration. Southwest Educational Development Laboratory.

The paper examines professional learning communities, the components that comprise them, current literature references, and connections to school improvement planning. There is also a section on steps schools can take to prepare for developing effective professional learning communities.

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DuFour, R. (2004).  What is a “Professional Learning Community”?, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
The article outlines main components of effective professional learning communities. DuFour includes a careful discuss of each component and then provides examples of that component in application.

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Thompson, M. & Goe, L. (2009). Models for Effective and Scalable Teacher Professional Development. Educational Testing Service.

Drawing on learning theory, expertise research, and research on effective professional development, this paper presents the theoretical and empirical basis behind an evolving program of professional development that employs school-embedded teacher learning communities as a central component, called Keeping Learning on Track®.

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National Education Association. (2006). Professional Community & Professional Development. National Education Association.

This brief provides a research-based blueprint for teacher learning, including the goals it can serve, strategic content priorities, and effective approaches or strategies. In “learning centered” schools—where there is an emphasis on both student and teacher learning—teacher professional communities are the hub of a learning system that focuses on instructional improvement. These communities are strategically linked with various other modes of professional development within and outside the school.

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Institute of Education Sciences. What Works Clearinghouse. Institute of Education Sciences.

Before offering any type of professional development to staff, consult this resource.   It contains an extensive database containing information on professional development and instructional strategies. The database can be searched based on specific school, grade level, or teacher need to find evidence-based professional development ideas.

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Pianta, R. C. (2011). Teaching Children Well New Evidence-Based Approaches to Teacher Professional Development and Training. Center for American Progress.

Effective professional development depends upon relevant knowledge and practice, and there is close alignment between assessment and professional-development support intended to produce best practices and outcomes. This paper illustrates an approach to professional development in which outcomes are tightly coupled with inputs (e.g., coaching, video analysis, and text) in an aligned system of support.