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INFORMATIONAL LETTER NO.  48

 

POLICY CODE: GCI

 

 

TO:            Superintendents of Schools

 

FROM:      J. Duke Albanese, Commissioner

 

DATE:       March 6, 2003

 

RE:            Training and Development Quality Standards web site

 

 

In June of 2000, I charged a Professional Development Policy Advisory Committee with the task of establishing guidelines to assist Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) in planning high quality professional development.  Last summer, the Committee completed its work and submitted the Final Report on July 25, 2002.  Central to that work was the establishment of Maine's Training and Development Quality Standards. 

 

I asked the Committee, as part of its work, to prepare a special publication highlighting the Quality Standards and describing how they look in action. Today, the Department of Education is launching a new web site entitled Achieving Results.  This dynamic-linked document explores each of the five Quality Standards and examples of benchmarks to measure progress toward achieving the Standards. You can view the publication online or download a copy suitable for reproduction at the Department web site www.maine.gov/education/achievingresults  The publication will also be available  shortly in a print version.

 

This work is of special importance because the Training and Development Standards established by the Committee were recently enacted in rule to serve as the foundation for professional development planning, an integral part of the LEA Comprehensive Education Plan. Section 8.08 of Chapter 125 reads:

 

Each school board shall establish a System for Training and Development of all personnel that meets the following standards.

A)    The System is based on continuous improvement of each individual, the school, and of the school administrative unit;

B)    The System focuses on practices that raise the academic performance of students on the content standards of the system of Learning Results and enhance student development;

C)    The System is aligned with other goals in the Comprehensive Education Plan and integrates individual development, building goals, and school administrative unit goals;

D)    The System is driven by information from local, state, and national resources for planning, implementation, and evaluation; and

     The System defines relevant roles for all stakeholders.

 

Our Quality Standards are based on the conviction that the purpose of training and development is to improve student achievement. They represent the belief that all adults who work with children in Maine's public schools are learners too, and deserve access to learning opportunities based on research and proven practice.

 

My hope is that the Quality Standards and the examples provided of the Standards in Action will guide educators and communities across Maine - and all of us in Augusta - as we strive to develop, implement, and evaluate strategies of professional training and development. Our children's future depends on the quality of our effort.

 

                        J. Duke Albanese

                        Commissioner of Education