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The Florida Senate

2004 Florida Statutes

School Community Professional Development Act.
Section 1012.98, Florida Statutes 2004

1012.98  School Community Professional Development Act.--

(1)  The Department of Education, public postsecondary educational institutions, public school districts, and public schools in this state shall collaborate to establish a coordinated system of professional development. The purpose of the professional development system is to enable the school community to meet state and local student achievement standards and the state education goals and to succeed in school improvement as described in s. 1000.03

(2)  The school community includes students and parents, administrative personnel, managers, instructional personnel, support personnel, members of district school boards, members of school advisory councils, business partners, and personnel that provide health and social services to students.

(3)  The activities designed to implement this section must:

(a)  Increase the success of educators in guiding student learning and development so as to implement state and local educational standards, goals, and initiatives.

(b)  Assist the school community in providing stimulating, scientifically research-based educational activities that encourage and motivate students to achieve at the highest levels and to become active learners.

(c)  Provide continuous support for all education professionals as well as temporary intervention for education professionals who need improvement in knowledge, skills, and performance.

(4)  The Department of Education, school districts, schools, community colleges, and state universities share the responsibilities described in this section. These responsibilities include the following:

(a)  The department shall develop and disseminate to the school community model professional development methods and programs that have demonstrated success in meeting identified student needs. The Commissioner of Education shall use data on student achievement to identify student needs. The methods of dissemination must include a statewide performance support system, a database of exemplary professional development activities, a listing of available professional development resources, training programs, and technical assistance.

(b)  Each school district shall develop a professional development system. The system shall be developed in consultation with teachers and representatives of community college and state university faculty, community agencies, and other interested citizen groups to establish policy and procedures to guide the operation of the district professional development program. The professional development system must:

1.  Be approved by the department. All substantial revisions to the system shall be submitted to the department for review for continued approval.

2.  Require the use of student achievement data; school discipline data; school environment surveys; assessments of parental satisfaction; performance appraisal data of teachers, managers, and administrative personnel; and other performance indicators to identify school and student needs that can be met by improved professional performance.

3.  Provide inservice activities coupled with followup support that are appropriate to accomplish district-level and school-level improvement goals and standards. The inservice activities for instructional personnel shall primarily focus on subject content and teaching methods, including technology, as related to the Sunshine State Standards, assessment and data analysis, classroom management, parent involvement, and school safety.

4.  Include a master plan for inservice activities, pursuant to rules of the State Board of Education, for all district employees from all fund sources. The master plan shall be updated annually by September 1 using criteria for continued approval as specified by rules of the State Board of Education. Written verification that the inservice plan meets all requirements of this section must be submitted annually to the commissioner by October 1.

5.  Require each school principal to establish and maintain an individual professional development plan for each instructional employee assigned to the school. The individual professional development plan must:

a.  Be related to specific performance data for the students to whom the teacher is assigned.

b.  Define the inservice objectives and specific measurable improvements expected in student performance as a result of the inservice activity.

c.  Include an evaluation component that determines the effectiveness of the professional development plan.

6.  Include inservice activities for school administrative personnel that address updated skills necessary for effective school management and instructional leadership.

7.  Provide for systematic consultation with regional and state personnel designated to provide technical assistance and evaluation of local professional development programs.

8.  Provide for delivery of professional development by distance learning and other technology-based delivery systems to reach more educators at lower costs.

9.  Provide for the continuous evaluation of the quality and effectiveness of professional development programs in order to eliminate ineffective programs and strategies and to expand effective ones. Evaluations must consider the impact of such activities on the performance of participating educators and their students' achievement and behavior.

(c)  Each community college and state university shall assist the department, school districts, and schools in the design, delivery, and evaluation of professional development activities. This assistance must include active participation in state and local activities required by the professional development system.

(d)  The Department of Education shall approve a public state university having an approved physical education teacher preparation program within its college of education to develop and implement an Internet-based clearinghouse for physical education professional development programs that may be accessed and used by all instructional personnel. The development of these programs shall be financed primarily by private funds and shall be available for use no later than August 1, 2005.

(5)  Each district school board shall provide funding for the professional development system as required by s. 1011.62 and the General Appropriations Act, and shall direct expenditures from other funding sources to strengthen the system and make it uniform and coherent. A school district may coordinate its professional development program with that of another district, with an educational consortium, or with a community college or university, especially in preparing and educating personnel. Each district school board shall make available inservice activities to instructional personnel of nonpublic schools in the district and the state certified teachers who are not employed by the district school board on a fee basis not to exceed the cost of the activity per all participants.

(6)  An organization of private schools which has no fewer than 10 member schools in this state, which publishes and files with the Department of Education copies of its standards, and the member schools of which comply with the provisions of part II of chapter 1003, relating to compulsory school attendance, may also develop a professional development system that includes a master plan for inservice activities. The system and inservice plan must be submitted to the commissioner for approval pursuant to rules of the State Board of Education.

(7)  The Department of Education shall design methods by which the state and district school boards may evaluate and improve the professional development system. The evaluation must include an annual assessment of data that indicate progress or lack of progress of all students. If the review of the data indicates progress, the department shall identify the best practices that contributed to the progress. If the review of the data indicates a lack of progress, the department shall investigate the causes of the lack of progress, provide technical assistance, and require the school district to employ a different approach to professional development. The department shall report annually to the State Board of Education and the Legislature any school district that, in the determination of the department, has failed to provide an adequate professional development system. This report must include the results of the department's investigation and of any intervention provided.

(8)  The State Board of Education may adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to administer this section.

(9)  This section does not limit or discourage a district school board from contracting with independent entities for professional development services and inservice education if the district school board can demonstrate to the Commissioner of Education that, through such a contract, a better product can be acquired or its goals for education improvement can be better met.

(10)  For teachers, managers, and administrative personnel who have been evaluated as less than satisfactory, a district school board shall require participation in specific professional development programs as part of the improvement prescription.

History.--s. 789, ch. 2002-387; s. 10, ch. 2003-118; s. 47, ch. 2003-391; s. 75, ch. 2004-41; s. 5, ch. 2004-255.