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Quality Standard #3: Organizational Alignment

The system of training and development aligns with the other systems in the school administrative unit and integrates individual development with building goals and unit goals.

A lot of good things are done in the name of professional development. But so are a lot of rotten things. What educators haven't done is provide evidence to document the difference between the two."

Thomas Guskey, 2002

For students to learn more, adults must learn more. Thus, schools must provide a rich "growth medium" for adults as well as children. The National Education Association and the Maine Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development recommend that school administrative units devote at least 10 percent of their budgets to staff development, and that at least 25 percent of an educator's work time be spent learning and collaborating with colleagues. Yet most school units fall far short of these goals. Why? Often, it's because training and development exist in a complex environment in which budgeting, scheduling, curriculum development, technology, human resources, assessment, certification, and community relations - to name but a few of the most pressing demands - compete for time and resources.

Factoring plans for training and development into budget discussions is particularly important. Inadequate funding dooms the best-laid plans. Yet all too often, training and development efforts wind up as a budgetary afterthought, forced to operate on grant money or on scarcely any money at all.

Integrating training and development planning into all of a school system's yearly planning processes not only keeps training and development on the agenda; it also helps to make the programs that result more effective.

Ideally, training and development become central to the organization's mission. The programs' focus shifts from individual development toward organizational development, and the goals of the organization of individual educators, and of the entire training and development effort come together in a single-minded commitment to continuous improvement.

Planning Indicators Implementation Indicators Evaluation Indicators
Training and development plans are referenced and coordinated with other school system planning.

Time for training and development is identified in the plan
The personnel system for supervision and evaluation supports participation in training and development activities.

The budget process supports the training and development plan.

Resource allocation of staff time, money, and school priorities supports training and development.
Evaluation data is used in determining adequacy of support for training and development.