Geneva City School District,
The practice: Professional development should incorporate evaluation of multiple sources of information on (a) outcomes for students and (b) the instruction and other processes that are involved in implementing the lessons learned.
Geneva City School District in upstate New York is an atypical rural school district, serving 2500 students. Unlike most rural school districts, the student population has socioeconomic characteristics similar to those of many urban districts. Approximately half of the district's students are eligible for free or reduced price lunch. The changing demographics of the county, the student population, and the maturation of its teaching force led to Geneva's decision to invest heavily in the development of all staff.
To ensure that professional development programs available to staff members are of the highest equality and have the intended results, Geneva instituted a comprehensive evaluation process to examine the effectiveness of all its programs. To be endorsed by the district, programs must align with the district's standards and demonstrated evidence of their impact on student achievement.
This evaluation occurs during the pilot phase of new professional development programs, the district conducts a comprehensive evaluation of the program using an experimental research design. The district is not hesitant to withhold approval for professional development programs that do not demonstrate success in increasing student achievement.
Evaluation during the pilot stage of professional development program, and
as programs are implemented helps the Geneva City School District ensure
that professional development programs produce intended results.