Hechinger Report

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DC Public Schools

“In many schools, the future of learning is already here and students are getting exposed to the best of it. But for too many, professional development hasn’t caught up. Just as it’s time for teachers to adapt, it’s time for their own coaches to do the same.”

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The future of learning

The District of Columbia Public Schools district is among those changing the script for how teachers learn. And a two-year-old professional development program called LEAP is being linked to greater achievement among students.

Instead of a handful of professional development days each year, D.C. teachers get a weekly cycle of professional learning. Ninety-minute weekly seminars are a cornerstone of the model. Teachers meet in teams based on their grade levels or content areas led by teacher leaders, instructional coaches or administrators. LEAP also calls for weekly classroom observations for teachers and follow-up debriefs so teachers can get rapid feedback to incorporate into their lessons.

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Three educators talk around a chart paper during a session