Publication Date

2-1-2016

Document Type

Report

Abstract

This report was prepared by the Maine Education Policy Research Institute (MEPRI) at the request of the Maine State Legislature to provide recommendations for the development of a block grant program of supplemental funding to school districts to support evidence-based professional development for educators and/ or leaders or instructional coaching support in schools and classrooms. The report provides guidance to inform decisions on pending legislation, LD 1394, “An Act to Implement the Recommendations of the Commission to Strengthen the Adequacy and Equity of Certain Cost Components of the School Funding Formula”.

The report builds on an earlier MEPRI report which reviewed the most rigorous empirical research literature on educator professional development, and uses the evidence-based findings to recommend criteria for a block grant funding program. Specifically, this report: 1) identifies evidence-based characteristics of effective professional development and criteria for evaluating block grants applications, 2) suggests possible funding priorities for awarding grants based on school district attributes, and 3) suggests evaluation measures that grant recipients could report annually as a requirement of continued funding.

In addition, the report provides findings from data collected through a focus group with 12 curriculum coordinators/ school districts from the Penobscot region around professional development supports needed to implement proficiency-based education. Finally, the authors discuss some broader considerations for policy and suggest that more work is needed to develop a coherent infrastructure for educator professional development in Maine and support for the use of evidence-based practices and effective implementation at the local level.

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