Surprise! Professional development--at least in reading--worth a dime

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Ask most teachers what they think of district-led professional development and you'll likely get groans and rolled eyes. But a recent audit looking at professional development efforts in reading instruction in Duval County, Florida gives some indication that pd can move mountains--or at least kids.

A literacy training model steeped in scientifically based reading research (SBRR) produced student learning gains of half a percentage point for each 6 hours of teacher training. That ratio turned out student reading scores seven points higher for teachers who completed just 14 days of training facilitated by the Shultz Center for Teaching and Leadership.

William Slotnick, who led the audit of the center says, "Professional development is not a soft input as some suggest. When done to a level of quality, there is a high relationship between the hours of professional development and student growth in reading."