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Professional Growth System Essay

493 words - 2 pages

Sharon Cromwell's article focuses on a recently developed program called the Professional Growth System. The program was implemented in the Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland. Its focus was to improve the quality of teaching and learning by supporting teachers in their professional growth. As with any evaluation system, it had to include real opportunities for teachers to improve their performance while also dismissing those who never would meet the district's standards. The teachers have determined the short-range success. They have recognized that the professional standards and expectations can be raised and improved while they remain an active part of the process. The long-range success will be ...view middle of the document...

Basically, they determined that expert staff-development specialists would coordinate the training pieces. A full-time teacher in each school would be appointed at the staff development teacher and each school must approve a specific amount of substitute time to release teachers for professional growth activities. In each school, there would be a group of consulting teachers known as "CTs." They must meet strict standards and will then be used to help improve the new or underperforming teacher's instructional skills. If improvements are not seen, then probationary teachers are not re-hired and a tenured teacher can be dismissed. The CTs have a huge impact on whether or not teachers are dismissed. Therefore, the CTs must meet strict requirements set up by a committee and the administration.Reaction: The overall structure of this program seems sound. However, the implementation involves a lot of strenuous planning that would overwhelm many school systems. State education laws must also be considered when trying to implement a program like this. Finally, the cost of the program would be staggering. The article stated that the total budget for the project in the school system mentioned was $10,209,559.00. This would make the program impossible for many districts. However, some suggestions were useful. For example, I do believe some of the elements, like consulting teachers, might be implemented on a lower budget. But I do not think the consulting teacher should be given a lot of power in the hiring and firing of any teacher. This should ultimately lie within the administrator's responsibility.

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