Why Can't We Get It Right?: Designing High-Quality Professional Development for Standards-Based Schools

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Marsha Speck, Caroll Knipe
SAGE Publications, Feb 1, 2005 - Education - 161 pages
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This thoroughly revised and updated edition of Why Can't We Get It Right? includes more tools, a stronger focus on implementation strategies, key points and open-ended scenarios for reflection. Speck and Knipe explain how school leaders can plan collaborative professional development that is standards based.

This book will deepen teachers' collective understanding about how to create professional development opportunities and practices. Well-designed professional development programs foster a learner-centered environment, and research has shown that improving teachers' knowledge and skills is a prerequisite to raising student performance. Speck and Knipe provide professional development designs and practices that make a difference for teachers and students, resulting in dramatically improved schools.

In order for our schools to leave no child behind, teachers need access to the most current information, strategies, research, and professional learning opportunities. This unique and indispensable guide links professional development tightly to academic standards to raise student achievement.

Each chapter contains:

- brief scenario to ground readers

- essential questions to provoke deeper thought about each topic

- tables, figures, and other visuals to illustrate key concepts,

- surveys, teacher professional development plans, planning worksheets, standards-based adaptable frameworks, evaluation guides, and other tools to help readers try out ideas

It is written for teachers, headteachers and LEA staff, but it will also be of interest to governors and professors of educational leadership.

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About the author (2005)

Marsha Speck is a leader in school reform, educational leadership and professional development issues. Her professional interests include building leadership capacity among teachers, administrators, and the community to improve schooling and achievement for all students and developing school/university partnerships that model these practices. She is currently Professor of Educational Leadership at San Josť State University. Marsha is the Director of the Urban High School Leadership Program, which is an innovative leadership development program linked as a partnership with regional school districts for teacher leaders and administrators to rethink the American high school and how it meets the needs of students and the community. She has diverse experiences as a teacher, high school principal, assistant superintendent of instruction, and professor, where she has worked collaboratively on school change efforts. She believes in a continued partnership linkage between the university and the school community, which is exemplified in her work. Creating school learning communities has been a central focus of her work with schools. She has published widely, including Why Canít We Get It Right? Professional Development for Our Schools (Corwin best seller); The Essential Questions and Practices in Professional Development; The Principalship: Building a Learning Community (for Prentice Hall); and The Handbook for Implementing Year-Round Education in the High School (for the National Association for Year-Round Education). Currently, Marsha is the president of the National Association for Year-Round Education and serves on the Leadership Council of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. San Josť State University recognized her as a Teacher Scholar (1996Ė1997) in recognition of contributions toward promoting the scholarship of teaching, especially in education leadership. Her Fulbright Scholarship includes study in India, Nigeria, and Israel. She received a BA from the University of California, Davis; an MA from California State University, Stanislaus; and EdD from the University of the Pacific. Traveling, tennis, and reading are a few of Marshaís passions when she is not working on leadership issues. She can be reached at San Josť State University, One Washington Square, San Jose, CA 95192-0072 or via e-mail at mslvtennis@aol.com.

Caroll Knipe, MEd, recognized leader and educational planner, is committed to school change for student suc-cess. As veteran teacher, site administrator, leadership consultant, journal contributor, published author (Why Canít We Get It Right? Professional Development in Our Schools), university adjunct staff, academy director, speaker, coach, strategic positioner, and director of personnel, communications, and curriculum, Caroll has invested 40 years in public education. For fourteen years as executive director of the California School Leadership Academy in the Silicon Valley, Caroll facilitated premier leadership development programs recognized nationally and internationally. As president of the 15,000-member Association of California School Administrators (ACSA), she helped to set the stateís educational direction. Her presentations include nationwide television seminars by Apple Computers; instructional television series, with roles as moderator and panelist; radio talk shows in Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and San Francisco; and facilitation at conferences for ACSA, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, California and National Staff Development Councils, and the California School Board Association. Recognized for outstanding leadership by state and national associations, she holds a bachelorís degree from Lock Haven State University in Pennsylvania and a masterís degree from Western Washington State University. She can be reached at knilodge@garlic.com.

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