Shaped by Data
Teacher professional development, like anything these days, has been shown to be more effective if it is based on data. Data driven goals and objectives can form the subject or basis of PD and help make that connection between professional practice and student need. In Texas, I particularly like the work of Ervin Knezek and the Lead4ward team in this area. What they have done is to help school districts by developing templates and models which can be used to disaggregate data to identify what teachers need to know and what students need help learning. He additionally identifies “process standards” that target a number of student objectives. These standards can be adapted quite easily for project based learning. His work, though specific to Texas, can be contextually extended to Common Core in that you must triage your goals based on data into what the teachers need to work on through PLCs or PD, what the students need additional help and support to increase achievement, and what (in my opinion) can be strategically targeted for adaptation or adoption of 21st Century Skills.