Annual Report 1997
Vol. 2 Issue 1
- Thank You
- Professional Development Guide Lines
- Standards-Based Instruction Project
- Program Approval Training
In its first two years as an independent licensing board, the Education Standards and Practices Board (ESPB) has taken a pro-active stance to encourage input from professional educators regarding their education and licensure requirements. We would like to express our appreciation to all of the teachers, principals, superintendents, and teacher educators, as well as school board members and parents who have participated in our processes over the past two years. You have participated in our focus meetings, on program approval teams and committees, in the development and revision of standards for education and re-education, in providing expert testimony before the Legislature, and on our Board itself.
This participation assures that our licensure and teacher education program approval meet the needs of North Dakota students and reflect the best practices of the profession. We know it is not easy to find additional time in your busy schedules. We would like to formally thank you for going above and beyond the line of duty to perform this important service to the profession.
In order to continue to receive input on the ESPB's service to education, random surveys are being sent to those who are applying for entrance or renewal certification. The surveys have been providing us with valuable information on the perception of our operations in the field. We appreciate applicants' objective input on the surveys. As a result of the input thus far we have clarified and revised some of the information sent out in our application and renewal packets. In addition to conducting the surveys, our staff has attended training sessions on customer service, dealing with difficult situations, effective communication, time management, and open records law in order to serve our constituents more effectively.
Professional Development Guidelines
The Education Standards and Practices Board (ESPB) has published Professional Development Guidelines: Effective Practices to help educators assess whether certain professional development endeavors are going to be effective in helping reach their educational goals, and to help assure best use of limited resources.
The Guidelines were developed as a collaborative project of Valley City Public Schools and the Barnes County Consortium, the ND Teacher Center Network, and the ESPB. The Guidelines are a user-friendly outline of best practices, developed through the collaborative work of over 200 educators and community members across the state of North Dakota over a two year period. The Guidelines represent both this grassroots input on local needs and information on proven research in the field of professional development from national experts.
The Guidelines have been shown at a number of state and national conferences and the project has been selected as a concurrent session at the National Staff Development Council (NSCD) national conference in December 1997.
This new resource is available for schools involved in self-study improvement and for individual educators seeking to expand their professional expertise. In addition to the guidelines document, two video tapes were produced, featuring a cross-section of 25 schools in North Dakota. The videos show some of the ways real schools are using these best practices, and the ways in which they have addressed common barriers related to funding, time, geographic isolation, and motivation. The video case studies are not intended as stand-alone viewing, but one part of the overall training information available to expand horizons on effective practices.
A training of trainers was held in November 1996 to develop regional experts on the use of these new resources. These presenters are available through your regional Teacher Center to do awareness sessions on the use of the Guidelines, or to work with districts in a more in-depth training as they incorporate best practices in professional development into their school improvement process.
The Professional Development Guidelines document and videos, as well as additional materials on schools' and individuals' roles in professional development, dealing with the element of change, presentation effectiveness, and models for programming have been placed at each of the Teacher Centers for use by trainers and schools.
We would like to once again express appreciation to the hundreds of educators and community representatives who were involved in this project.
Standards-Based Instruction Project
As a continuation of the Professional Development Guidelines project, the ESPB is once again working collaboratively with several consortia to make professional development opportunities in standards-based instruction available to educators in the state. In the current climate of standards-based reform, it is important for educators and the public to have good information on the role of various types of standards in education and how various approaches to standards use will effect students in their schools. It is also necessary for teachers and school districts to see practical ways that standards can be used as a voluntary tool within local curriculum development processes to improve student success.
Training models will be developed using the best practices information in the Professional Development Guidelines: Effective Practices and will involve input from local educators who have been involved in the development and review of local, state, and national standards documents. The training will not advocate any one set or type of standards, but will be designed to help school communities make decisions based on a broad knowledge of what is available and what will best suit their students' needs. The project will first address the areas of English/language arts, math and science, and will develop a template that can be applied in other curricular areas.
This project supports the ESPB's continuing goal to support quality education and re-education opportunities for educators in the state.
Program Approval Training
The ESPB, as the North Dakota partnership entity working with the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), will be conducting a joint training session on accreditation and approval with the North Central Association (NCA) November 9-12, 1997. The dual NCA/NCATE training provides participants with a broad perspective on K-16 standards and procedures and how K-12 and teacher education processes work together for continuous improvement of teaching and learning. The training will be based at the Doublewood Inn in Bismarck and will provide opportunities for the trainees to visit actual K-12 and higher education sites for authentic training activities. Those trained would then be eligible to participate on future approval teams. Those interested in participating should contact their professional organization or the ESPB office. Names of interested individuals are being requested from the North Dakota Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (NDACTE), North Dakota Council of Educational Leaders (NDCEL), North Dakota Education Association (NDEA), and North Dakota School Boards Association (NDSBA). Additional information can be obtained through Ron Stastney at the state NCA office or Deb Jensen at the ESPB.