There is a lack of research data about teacher professional development in Tennessee, which makes it difficult to for taxpayers to know how tens of millions of dollars in Race to the Top stimulus funds are being spent, according to a recent state report.
Ultimately, that means that it’s impossible to know whether teacher training programs in Tennessee are having an impact on student learning, says the report, released by the Offices of Research and Education Accountability in the state Comptroller’s office.
Of the $500 million Tennessee received in Race to the Top funds, $148.2 million was allocated to train the state’s 63,000 public school teachers.
The report also points out that teachers are often not happy when it comes to professional development, either.
Teachers report that “professional development is not targeted to meet the individual needs of teachers” and “there is a gap between the professional development that teachers believe they need and what they are currently receiving. This may be an indication that school improvement plans are not aligned with the needs of teachers.”