Coordinated System of Professional Development
Section 1012.98, Florida Statute, School Community Professional Development Act, states that the Department of Education, public postsecondary educational institutions, public school districts, public schools, state education foundations, consortia, and professional organizations in this state shall work collaboratively to establish a coordinated system of professional development. Elements of the statewide system are distributed among these collaborative partners.
The scope, focus and required elements for Florida's professional development system are set forth in a series of connected statutes and State Board of Education rules. Through statutes and rules, Florida continues to address the importance of professional growth for Florida educators and the essential need for school districts to maintain professional learning systems. The importance of professional growth in the life of a Florida educator is evidenced through elements such as requiring college credits or the equivalent through inservice for recertification, and the Principles of Professional Conduct for the Education Profession in Florida (State Board of Education Rule 6A-10.081(1)(b) which states that: "…the educator will therefore strive for professional growth…"
The state's recognition of the importance of a systemic process for enabling professional learning is evident. Every school district in Florida is required by law to provide a high quality professional learning system for its employees. To support and focus this aspect of quality school improvement, the state has several linked systemic elements.
- Each district reports professional learning expenditures in state survey data.
- Each district approves a master inservice program annually aligned with needs assessments.
- Each district with preparation programs has the program(s) reviewed and approved by the Department.
- State Board of Education Rule 6A-5.071, F.A.C., Master Inservice Plan Requirements, includes state-adopted standards for high-quality professional development, the Florida Professional Development System Evaluation Protocol, that guide implementation of the districts' professional learning systems.
- The Department of Education conducts site reviews (currently on a four year cycle) of each district's professional learning system to guide its alignment with the protocol standards.
Contributions to the state system are provided through the various collaborating partners:
Department of Education Elements
- Professional Learning Programs
- Title II, Part A, Teacher and Principal Training and Recruiting Funds
- District Approved Professional Development Systems
- District Master Inservice Plans
- Individual, School and District Improvement Plans
- Collegial Team Learning Processes and Structures
- Council for Educational Change
- Florida Distance Learning Consortium
- Heartland Educational Consortium
- North East Florida Educational Consortium (NEFEC)
- Panhandle Area Educational Consortium (PAEC)
- Schultz Center for Teaching and Leadership