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Quality Standard #1: Continuous Improvement

The system of training and development is a cycle of continuous improvement.


Image of Continuous Improvement - Click for more detailsResearch shows that when schools and educators commit to continuous learning, student outcomes - both academic and developmental - improve. In fact, today's most effective educators view continuous, ongoing training and development as an integral part of their job description, a routine part of every workday. The need to refocus teaching to meet the requirements of Maine's Learning Results makes continuous learning more important than ever. To bring about improved student performance, training and development must be never-ending.

Continuous Improvement is a circular process, encompassing student assessment, program planning and design, implementation, evaluation, and revision. The programs' purposes, goals, and activities are continuously assessed and refined in a process sometimes referred to as "planning backwards." Moreover, efforts at training and development apply to all who teach - not only classroom teachers, but administrators, librarians, physical education teachers, art and band instructors, educational technicians, and others.

The majority of Maine's educators learned to teach in a different time, with different expectations. Sixty-five percent of Maine's teachers are over the age of 40 and the average teacher in the state has 15 years of classroom experience. Training and development based on a cycle of continuous improvement are essential to help these dedicated, committed professionals move successfully into the kind of public education that the Learning Results demand.

Planning Indicators Implementation Indicators Evaluation Indicators
There is evidence of multi-year planning.

Data have been used to inform the continuous improvement cycle.

The plan builds local capacity.
A commitment to training and development is evident in the actions of all stakeholders. The evaluation utilizes data to change planning and implementation strategies.

Change in practice and behavior is evident among participants.

Improved student performance and development is realized.