Professional Learning – A State Perspective: A Conversation with Dr. Diane DeBacker, Kansas Commissioner of Education (Sticky Standards #17)

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Professional Learning:  A State Perspective
A Conversation with Dr. Diane DeBacker, Former Kansas Commissioner of Education

This podcast explores Learning Forward’s Professional Learning Standards from a State Perspective. Our guest today is Dr. Diane DeBacker, former Kansas Commissioner of Education.  Diane is a learning leader for all Kansas educators.

Leaders in our schools understand that if we want our teachers to be their very best then educators are learning too, just like our students are learning.  What has made the biggest impact for Kansas educators for long-term change?   Consistency in what districts are providing educators during professional learning time.  One shot workshops might feel good, but they do not improve student achievement.  With the adoption of our Kansas College and Career Ready Standards (KCCRS), we’ve seen a narrowing as everyone is focusing their professional learning on these higher academic standards.

The core of MTSS is LEADERSHIP, PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND EMPOWERING CULTURE.  These three components align with the PL standards and when all three are in place systemic change happens.

When we give VOICE and CHOICE to educators, it provides flexibility for districts, buildings and teams.  It is all about change.  BE BETTER.  “I’m not as good as I want to be, but I’m better than I was yesterday.”  Each day, be better.  Recently, the biggest challenge for districts has been professional learning, as we are expecting our educators to have broader and deeper content knowledge. The professional learning around  content knowledge is critical for student success.

Many educators in Kansas are supporting each other as we learn the new standards.  There are many options, including our wonderful education service centers.  Share!  Collaborate!

There is a strong connection between the Kansas educator evaluation systems and professional learning.  It is about getting better. How are we continuing to learn as an educator? 

Learn more about Diane’s thoughts on professional learning…..including her own.  Again, she is a learning leader.  Last words from Dr. DeBacker – Be a learner, be engaged, and ask questions about being better. 

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