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Why Can't We Get It Right?

Why Can't We Get It Right?
Designing High-Quality Professional Development for Standards-Based Schools

Second Edition
Edited by:

Foreword by Dennis Sparks

March 2013 | 184 pages | Corwin
This thoroughly revised and updated edition of Why Can't We Get It Right? includes more tools, a stronger focus on implementation strategies, key points and open-ended scenarios for reflection. Speck and Knipe explain how school leaders can plan collaborative professional development that is standards based.

This book will deepen teachers' collective understanding about how to create professional development opportunities and practices. Well-designed professional development programs foster a learner-centered environment, and research has shown that improving teachers' knowledge and skills is a prerequisite to raising student performance. Speck and Knipe provide professional development designs and practices that make a difference for teachers and students, resulting in dramatically improved schools.

In order for our schools to leave no child behind, teachers need access to the most current information, strategies, research, and professional learning opportunities. This unique and indispensable guide links professional development tightly to academic standards to raise student achievement.

Each chapter contains:

- brief scenario to ground readers

- essential questions to provoke deeper thought about each topic

- tables, figures, and other visuals to illustrate key concepts,

- surveys, teacher professional development plans, planning worksheets, standards-based adaptable frameworks, evaluation guides, and other tools to help readers try out ideas

It is written for teachers, headteachers and LEA staff, but it will also be of interest to governors and professors of educational leadership.

Dennis Sparks
About the Authors
1. Essential Questions About High-Quality Professional Development
2. Creating the Culture for a Learning Community
3. Conditions and Processes for Professional Development
4. Designing Your Own Model
5. Evaluating Professional Development
6. Rethinking Professional Learning
Resource: Recommended Readings and Web Sites

“In Why Can't We Get It Right? Second Edition, Marsha Speck and Caroll Knipe provide a thorough overview of what is known about the nature of professional development that produces high levels of learning and performance for teachers and their students. They admirably achieve their goal of showing how well-designed professional development with a clear focus on improved student learning can make a difference in teaching and student success.”

From the Foreword by Dennis Sparks, Executive Director
National Staff Development Council

"This is indeed a caring and pioneering book. Seldom have I seen or read such a thorough, comprehensive, and theoretically sound text on professional development. I challenge teachers, parents, principals, superintendents, district office personnel, board members, and professors to add this book to (their) professional library, to use it as a text, and to share it with others."

Linda Lambert, Professor Ermeritus
Educational Leadership, California State University, Hayward

"Speck and Knipe's book is unique in that it does justice to both the complexity and the central role staff development must play in raising student achievement. The authors discuss professional development in a way that does not sacrifice depth for breadth, sound research for practical application, or comprehensiveness for expediency."

Laura Gschwend, Associate Principal
Santa Teresa High School, San Jose, CA

Praise for the First Edition:
"As a proponent of whole-system change and as a professor of change leaderhip in education, I highly recommend Marsha Speck and Caroll Knipe's book as a valuable guide for improving student, faculty, staff, and whole system learning. Professional development leaders concerned with whole-system improvement will want to have a copy of this book on their shelves."

Journal of Staff Development, Spring 2005
National Staff Development Council

"From an amazingly true-to-life perspective, this book explains how educational leaders can design, develop, and evaluate truly collaborative professional development . . . This second edition is intended to give supervisors and edge in the 'race for personal efficacy and collective power focused on student achievement.'"

NSTA Recommends, November 2005
National Science Teacher Association

Marsha Speck

Marsha Speck is a leader in school reform, educational leadership and professional development issues. Her professional interests include building leadership capacity among teachers, administrators, and the community to improve schooling and achievement for all students and developing school/university partnerships that model these practices. She is currently Professor of Educational Leadership at San José State University. Marsha is the Director of the Urban High School Leadership Program, which is an innovative leadership development program linked as a partnership with regional school districts for teacher leaders and administrators to... More About Author

Caroll O. Knipe

Caroll Knipe, MEd, recognized leader and educational planner, is committed to school change for student suc-cess. As veteran teacher, site administrator, leadership consultant, journal contributor, published author (Why Can’t We Get It Right? Professional Development in Our Schools), university adjunct staff, academy director, speaker, coach, strategic positioner, and director of personnel, communications, and curriculum, Caroll has invested 40 years in public education. For fourteen years as executive director of the California School Leadership Academy in the Silicon Valley, Caroll facilitated premier leadership development programs... More About Author