International High School
Long Island City, NY
International High School, Long Island City, New York, was selected as a winner of the 1997-1998 National Awards Program for Model Professional Development.
What is the National Awards Program for Model Professional Development?
As part of a continuing effort to honor excellence in education, the U.S. Department of Education sponsors the National Awards Program for Model Professional Development. This program recognizes schools and school districts with exemplary professional development programs and disseminates information about high-quality professional development efforts that provide evidence of student learning and increased teacher effectiveness. Since the focus of this competition is on professional development for teachers and other educators in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 settings, only individual schools (public or private) or school districts may apply. Schools or districts may, however, submit applications that describe their partnerships with other entities, in particular, institutions of higher education. Recognition under this awards program is based on how well applicants demonstrate, using identified selection criteria that their professional development program results in increased student outcomes. Criteria for selection* include:
Background and Overview of Professional Development
The applicant provides a brief explanation of why they consider professional development in their schools or districts exemplary by describing the program's key components and relating those to the U.S. Department of Education's Mission and Principles of Professional Development. This description must provide evidence that the professional development activities are not narrowly focused on one subgroup of students or staff within the school or district.
Goals and Outcomes
The applicant describes the professional development goals, including how they: (1) are developed; (2) relate to school improvement; (3) are based on a needs assessment; and (4) address the achievement of all students regardless of gender, socio-economic level or disadvantaged status, race, ethnic or cultural background, exceptional abilities or disabilities, or limited-English proficiency. Applicants also must address the changes in teaching and student learning that are expected to result from professional development, and must describe how professional development goals and outcomes promote teaching and learning to high standards.
Professional Development Design and Implementation
The applicant provides evidence that professional development reflects research and best practice; includes comprehensive evaluation; includes organizational structures (e.g., administrative and policy support) and resources (e.g., use of time, expertise, funds) that support it; promotes continuous inquiry and improvement; and ensures that the larger school community understands its importance to school improvement.
Objective Evidence of Success
The applicant clearly demonstrates that teacher effectiveness and student learning have improved as a direct result of the implemented professional development activities. Data that indicate this connection must be provided and discussed. The focus of this criterion is objective evidence, and a compelling argument must be made for how professional development positively affects outcomes for all teachers and all students, and must emphasize areas where any achievement gaps between groups (e.g., gender, socio-economic status, ethnicity) have been addressed and narrowed.
Implications for the Field
The applicant describes the lessons learned as the professional development activities have matured.
*These criteria are derived from the Mission and Principles of Professional Development prepared by the U.S. Department of Education in 1995, in consultation with numerous educational organizations, and have been previously published for public comment.
Information about the current award cycle for the National Awards Program for Model Professional Development can be found at http://www.ed.gov/inits/TeachersWeb/.