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Investing in teachers: School and district spending for professional development, an analysis of cost and quality in three urban primary centers

By Patricia C O\u27Connor


The purpose of this study was to track the expenditures made by a school district and three of its primary centers for teacher professional development and further analyze the purposes of those expenditures to determine if the district and school financial investments supported quality features of professional development. District and school level data on professional development expenditures were collected and categorized using the professional development cost structure developed by Odden, Archibald, Fermanich, and Gallagher (2002). The Odden et al. (2002) cost structure includes six cost elements: (1) teacher time, (2) training and coaching, (3) administration of professional development, (4) materials, equipment, and facilities, (5) travel and transportation, and (6) tuition and conference fees. Each expenditure was further coded as to purpose using two additional coding schemes developed by Miles, Bouchard, Winner, Cohen, and Guiney (1999) and Miles and Hornbeck (2000) and Thayer (2004). Totals of the coded expenditures were compared with components of quality professional development to determine whether the district and school investments were made on effective professional development strategies. This study examined district and school level spending for professional development in three primary schools in an urban district in northern Indiana. Within the last five years, the district has implemented a major redistricting and program restructuring effort including the implementation of a comprehensive, systemic professional development program in its primary centers. The findings of this study revealed that this district and its three Title I primary centers spent $1,208,297 for professional development which averaged $12,192 per teacher. The highest professional development expenditure was training and coaching and the second highest expenditure was teacher time. In addition, based on the analysis of the purposes for the expenditures, most of this district\u27s and its schools\u27 investments supported features of high quality professional development. This study is unique and adds to existing literature because it quantifies and qualifies expenditures made for a professional development program implemented in an urban district and provides schools and district with a realistic estimate of the costs required for a quality, effective professional development plan

Topics: Teacher education|School finance
Publisher: 'Purdue University (bepress)'
Year: 2006
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Provided by: Purdue E-Pubs
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