BILL REQ. #:  H-3311.1 


State of Washington63rd Legislature2014 Regular Session

By Representatives Lytton, Carlyle, Dahlquist, Haigh, Pettigrew, and Tarleton

Read first time 01/16/14.   Referred to Committee on Education.

     AN ACT Relating to adopting a definition of professional learning; adding a new section to chapter 28A.300 RCW; and creating a new section.


NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1   (1) The legislature finds that effective professional learning enables educators to develop the knowledge, skills, practices, and dispositions needed to help students learn and achieve at higher levels.
     (2) The legislature further finds that a clear definition of professional learning provides a foundational vision that sets the course for how state, regional, and local education leaders support educator professional development. A shared, statewide definition is a piece of critical infrastructure to guide policy and investments in the content, structure, and provision of the types of professional development that are associated with increased student performance. A definition of professional learning is also an accountability measure to assure that professional development will have the highest possible return on investment in terms of increased student performance.
     (3) Therefore, the legislature intends to adopt a statewide definition of effective professional learning and encourages each public school and school district to establish sustained, job-embedded, relevant professional learning opportunities that meet the definition.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2   A new section is added to chapter 28A.300 RCW to read as follows:
     (1) The term "professional learning" means a comprehensive, sustained, and intensive approach to improving teachers' and principals' effectiveness in raising student achievement. Professional learning fosters collective responsibility for improved student performance and must comprise learning that is aligned with student learning and educator development needs, and school, school district, or state improvement goals. Professional learning shall have as its primary focus the improvement of teachers' and school leaders' effectiveness in assisting all students to meet the state learning goals.
     (2) Professional learning shall include the work of established collaborative teams of teachers, school leaders, and other administrative, instructional, and educational services staff members, or third-party providers under contract with the office of the superintendent of public instruction, who commit to working together to accomplish common goals and who are engaged in a continuous cycle of professional improvement that is focused on:
     (a) Evaluating student and teacher learning needs through ongoing reviews of data on student and teacher performance;
     (b) Defining a clear set of educator learning goals based on the rigorous analysis of these data; and
     (c) Regularly assessing the effectiveness of the professional learning in achieving identified learning goals, improving teaching, and assisting all students in meeting state academic learning standards.
     (3) Professional learning shall incorporate coherent, sustained, and evidence-based strategies that improve educator effectiveness and student achievement, including job-embedded coaching or other forms of assistance to support educators' transfer of new knowledge and skills to their work.
     (4) Professional learning may be supported by external expert assistance or additional activities that:
     (a) Address defined student and educator learning goals;
     (b) Advance ongoing school-based professional development; and
     (c) Include, but are not limited to, courses, workshops, institutes, networks, and conferences provided by for-profit and nonprofit entities outside the school such as universities, educational service districts, technical assistance providers, networks of content specialists, and other education organizations and associations.

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