An Examination of State-Level Professional Development Policy: A Policy Analysis

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University of Alabama Libraries

Professional Development is one of the most common methods for school systems to provide additional training and disseminate new information to faculty members. As such, the professional development process carries a large burden in terms of time, money, and other valuable school resources. Declining state test scores and public pressure to raise student achievement levels places even more importance on the professional development process. Many public and private education research groups have identified features that improve the effectiveness of professional development. State Departments of Education also routinely provide professional development guidance to schools and school systems through professional development policies. This study will examine professional development policies provided by the Alabama State Department of Education, as well as the professional development policies of a purposeful sample of other States from across the United States. By employing qualitative research methods, this study will seek to determine if the professional development policies of academically successful states contain commonalities that could be included in a list of recommendations for state-level professional development policymakers in the State of Alabama.

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Effective Professional Development, Improving Professional Development, Learning Forward, Professional development, Professional Development Policy