Why Should We Use Stimulus Funds
for Professional Development?
When Congress was developing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act,
ASCD asked a sample of superintendents about their school systems’ greatest
funding needs. The education leaders identified professional development as a top
priority, even during this financial crisis. Professional development, which both
supports the success of educators and provides long-term benefits for students,
is a worthy investment.
Professional Learning in the Learning Profession, a recent report by the National Staff
Development Council and School Redesign Network, affirms the value of growth
opportunities that are “sustained, focused on important content, and embedded in
the work of collaborative professional learning teams” to improve student learning.
The link between educator quality and student learning is undeniable, and the primary goal of any effective professional development program is to improve student
learning and raise achievement.
Effective professional development begins with a plan aimed at addressing the
specific learning needs of students in a particular school or district. It also includes
an evaluation process to ensure that the school or district attained the stated goals
and, most of all, engaged educators in ongoing collaborative learning.
ASCD is committed to providing sustainable, customized, effective professional
development to states, intermediate units, districts, schools, and other organizations
that will build local capacity. The goal is to allow them to use human and financial
resources more effectively.
To cultivate educators into local experts in specific instructional and leadership
practices, ASCD is dedicated to providing a range of professional development
• Workshops scheduled at various intervals to teach specific instructional
and leadership practices.
• Ongoing observation and feedback in targeted schools and classrooms.
• Meetings with teacher leaders or administrators, moderated by ASCD Faculty
members, about follow-up lessons and classroom visitations.