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Evaluating Professional Development: An Approach to Verifying Program Impact on Teachers and Students


"In the age of accountability, organizations must prove the value of professional development investments. Real proof of value goes beyond enjoyment of participants and consists of significant improvements in skills, knowledge, and attitudes for participants and for their students, the ultimate value proposition. In the first part of this piece, an approach is outlined that incorporates critical methodological components that ensure a highly valid and generalizable evaluation capability. In the second part, a case study is reviewed that illustrates how well-designed and delivered professional development is validated by a thorough evaluation component, and the statistically significant impact a specific professional development program had on teachers and their students."