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Contact: Richard Vespucci
For Release: October 25, 1999

Teaching Standards Board Adopts Draft Standards for Professional Development

New Jersey's Professional Teaching Standards Board (PTSB) has adopted a set of draft professional development standards. The board's action culminates eight months of work to develop a set of standards that would illustrate high quality professional development aligned with New Jersey's Core Curriculum Content Standards.

The PTSB will now seek input through surveys and focus groups on the draft standards in November and December. After the PTSB incorporates the recommendations from the education community, it will recommend standards to the Commissioner of Education.

"The standards are intended to ensure that colleges and other providers of continuing education programs, as well as in-service providers at the local school district level, will have a guide to select and shape quality training programs for our classroom professionals," said Victoria Duff, chairperson of the PTSB. "Effective professional development can only enhance student learning," she added.

The 19-member Professional Teaching Standards Board called upon national experts in the field of professional development to assist in the development of the standards. The board is also planning to distribute a survey to local school districts, education organizations and higher education representatives to assure that the quality and integrity of the standards reflects the needs of the education community.

The draft professional development standards (see attached) establish criteria for the 100 hours of professional development required of all teachers every five years, beginning in September 2000. The standards should enable professional development schools, college-based courses and conferences, local district boards of education, professional associations, and training organizations to provide professional development opportunities to stimulate the teaching profession to help students achieve at higher levels.

The Professional Teaching Standards Board was appointed by the State Board of Education in January 1999. Its members consist of 10 classroom teachers, two college representatives, three district administrators, two members of local boards of education, and two members of the general public. The board is chaired by Victoria Duff, a third grade teacher in Toms River, and co-chaired by Carlo Parravano, director of the Merck Institute for Science.

The mission of the Professional Teaching Standards Board is to ensure that standards-based professional development results in professional growth and enhances students learning. The adoption of the draft standards today fulfills one key element of its mission.

Other activities of the board will include the development of an online registration system of all professional development providers, including colleges, professional associations and other providers to assure that they meet the professional development standards. In addition, the board is developing implementation standards and an implementation schedule prior to the effective date of the regulations in September 2000.