Nat'l Awards for Professional Development

Thu, 17 Dec 1998 14:56:10 -0500

Here's a great opportunity for those of you in schools and school districts to
showcase your equity efforts!
--Susan Carter,

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National Awards Program for Model Professional Development Application
As part of a continuing effort to honor excellence in education, the U.S.
Department of Education announces 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 (pre-K- 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 the selection criteria described in this document, that their
professional development program results in increased student outcomes.

These criteria are derived from the Mission and Principles of Professional
Development (which are reproduced in this application package) prepared by the
U.S. Department of Education in 1995, in consultation with numerous educational
organizations, and have been previously published for public comment. The
Department's goal is to identify a wide variety of comprehensive models of
pre-K- 12 professional development that exemplify the Mission and Principles of
Professional Development. Consistent with the Mission and Principles, these
models are broadly focused: they have
professional growth as an integral part of school culture, address the
needs of all students, and promote professional development practices that
ensure equity by being free of bias and accessible to all educators.
The Review Process
Applications will be reviewed in five stages. During the first stage,
applications will be reviewed by U.S. Department of Education staff to determine
whether they contain all necessary information and meet required formatting.
Applications that seek funds to initiate a professional development program or
that originate from a group other than a school or a district will not be
considered. The second stage of review, to determine semi-finalists, will be
conducted by non-Departmental panelists representing a broad range of expert
practitioners and policymakers. Each application will have multiple readers and
will be evaluated according to how well the application addresses the Selection
Criteria (see below). In the third stage, site visits will be conducted to
verify the information presented in the semi-finalists' applications and to
collect any additional available data related to the criteria. A blue-ribbon
panel of expert practitioners and policymakers will review applications and
site visit reports and recommend finalists to the Department. The Department
will use the data from each review stage, along with the information contained
on the applications, to select up to ten schools and/or school districts for
national recognition.

Further information that may be helpful in preparing applications for this
program is provided on the U.S. Department of Education's Web Site. In
particular, descriptions of winning programs are available
( This information is also available in
print form by contacting Sharon Horn, Office of Educational Research and
Improvement, 555 New Jersey Avenue NW, Room 506e, Washington, DC 20208- 5644.
She may be reached by phone (202- 219-2203), fax (202- 219- 2198) or e-mail


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