ABC Unified – The Annual PAL (Partnership between Administrators and Labor) Retreat is created jointly by teachers and administrators to provide a shared professional development opportunity. The focus of the retreat is raising student achievement in the district.
Baltimore – The contract creates leadership opportunities for teachers who have demonstrated results. The leadership opportunities include increased responsibilities and salary increases. Former salary lanes have been replaced in the contract by a four-tiered career ladder (Standard, Professional, Model, and Lead Teacher), and opportunities for advancement through "achievement units" tied to evaluation and evidence of leadership and learning. The contract also establishes a joint committee that oversees district professional development initiatives.
Denver – The contract emphasizes site-based shared decision-making on professional development, school schedules and calendars, and other topics. It creates a school-based "Collaborative School Committee," which has specific charges, including the development of School Improvement Plans and Professional Development Plans.
Douglas County – The union and the district share joint ownership of the district's "Center for Staff and Community Development." The contract creates a wide range of teacher leadership assignments, including instructional coaches, curriculum coordinators, and administrative supports.
Green Dot – Professional development is school-based and overseen by a committee that includes union members and school leadership. The contract creates teacher leadership positions, including teacher mentors.
Helena – The contract establishes a career and professional development system for teachers that is aligned with district goals and supported by the jointly developed Professional Compensation Alternative Plan. The district and employee groups jointly participate in the implementation of a district-wide mentorship program that links together experienced and newly hired educators.
Hillsborough County – The contract provides for a career ladder compensation system based on performance that enables teachers to make more money and take on more responsibility. The contract also creates three new categories of full-time positions: one enables teachers to act as full-time mentors to other teachers; one provides peer evaluators who share with principals the responsibility of observing and evaluating teachers; and one gives teachers the opportunity to become "teacher leaders" who teach half the day and work the other half with administration on instructional and curricular issues.
Montgomery County – Each employee association contract articulates the importance of professional development for all employees in creating and sustaining a high quality workforce, focused on student learning, in a self-renewing organization. Each contract establishes the shared responsibility of the district and the respective association to jointly plan and implement relevant professional development that supports employee advancement through career pathways (support staff); or establishes a career lattice (teachers) that identifies three stages of professional growth (induction, skillful teacher, lead teacher); or promotes the development of effective school and district leaders (administrators' association). Professional development plans are created by each staff member with guidance from appropriate evaluators and/or lead teachers.
New Haven – The contract calls for a number of professional development initiatives designed to promote teacher growth. Among these are: a teacher induction and mentoring program, school-based instructional coaches, teacher professional development centers, and additional training on special education inclusion, classroom management, data-driven instruction, differentiation, and instructional technology.
Plattsburgh – A school-based planning committee makes recommendations to school administrators, and a district-wide professional development committee supports the professional development efforts at each school.
St. Francis – The contract calls on teachers to develop an annual 30-hour professional development plan. The contract establishes a Teacher Academy that offers development opportunities in alignment with state and district goals. The contract also establishes an aligned career ladder for teachers, which offers leadership roles that include curriculum and instructional specialists, mentors, and district coordinators.
* * *
Ideas From Other Districts – Develop local standards of excellence for teachers and administrators. Agree on common workforce metrics to inform hiring and career or professional development decisions. Define supervisory roles for teachers in the bargaining agreement. Permit educators with supervisory roles in the bargaining unit. Create cooperative career development initiatives with other education organizations, such as local universities, other government agencies and nonprofits.