Is there a common ground for high school staff development?  Clearly we are embarking on an era of high school improvement with the President’s call for expanded high school testing under NCLB, work of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the recent National Governor’s Association Summit on high schools. Are you ready to respond to high school improvement? A key to having an impact on high schools, the most entrenched of education institutions, is having a common ground for professional development.  High school improvement will be very difficult, because most high schools are perceived as above average.  For most parents, if the high school has sports opportunities, assists with the college going process and provides a rich tradition of social events then the high school is perceived as doing well. Collectively the evidence shows  that tens of thousands of students in the United States are not prepared for work and college when leaving high school.

Staff Development at the high school level has always been focused on content, such as works of literature, concepts of biology or high levels of mathematics,  There is usually no focus to high school staff development comparable to how elementary schools rally around reading.  Yet, the effective school research points out that most effective high schools operate as a close knit collaborative organization rich with real world and interdisciplinary instruction.  Staff developers, if they are to be part of the solution to high school reform will be challenged to find  a “common ground” in high school staff development that will go beyond  content professional development.  All teachers regardless of their specialization must work together to make high schools effective organizations meeting the needs of all students.


Summit on High Schools

At the recent National Governors Association education summit meeting, the governors of 13 states announced they had formed a coalition to require more rigor in high school courses, testing and graduation requirements. The network, which is expected to attract more states during the next few weeks, also plans to publish more data on dropout and graduation rates.  Go to the new web site to review presentations and recommendations.

Lesson Lab

One of the best staff development tools are the videos from the 1999 TIMSS Video Study. This research examined eighth-grade classroom mathematics and science teaching by videotaping and analyzing teaching practices in more than one thousand classrooms spanning seven countries: Australia, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United States. LessonLab is offers a four-CD set that contains video and related materials for 28 complete mathematics lessons, four from each country in the study. The cost is $39.


Moving Slides Between PowerPoint Presentation –

One of the frequent tasks of presenters is to create a new Powerpoint presentation and use a few slides from an old presentation.  Here is a quick tip on how to do this easily,  This is also a demonstration of the Atomic Learning resource for technology training.

Pod2Go 1.1.4

While some users may enjoy just listening to music on their iPods, there are a number of other exciting uses that may prove equally worthwhile. With Pod2Go, users can sync news from over 300 RSS sources into their devices, or link up to a “Fact of the Day” feature. Equally pragmatic is the ability to sync weather. This version of Pod2Go is compatible only with Mac OS X.

PD spotlight

New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance is the professional organization providing staff development to teachers in these teaching fields.

The association is holding two regional Sports Medicine Teachers Conference

March 28, 2005 in Syracuse and April 4, 2005,Garden City, NY  The 2005 NYS AHPERD Annual Conference is November 9 – 12, 2005 in Rochester, NY. Proposals are being accepted for the conference program.