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PAR Survey Data on Teacher Development Released

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The Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana (PAR), in cooperation with the Louisiana Department of Education, conducted a cross-section survey of the state’s 44,000 teachers regarding their professional development experiences. The survey provided basic data for a recently released analysis by the Louisiana Staff Development Council (LSDC). The publication, entitled “Quality Professional Learning in Every Louisiana School: Can We Meet the Challenge?,” examines teacher perceptions concerning the effectiveness of various types of professional development activities.

While traditional development activities such as formal workshops and coursework remain the most commonly used, the report finds a positive movement toward using non-traditional activities such as mentoring and coaching. This indicates that teachers are leaving the isolation of their classrooms and interacting more with each other on matters of practice. The challenge facing Louisiana educators, the study concludes, is “to move from isolated high-quality professional development events toward a systemic approach grounded in current evidence of best practice.”

For more information, write to PAR at P.O. Box 14776, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-4776; call (225) 926-8414; or, visit PAR’s Web site at


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