California Education Dialogue

A public policy dialogue produced by Information Renaissance
with support from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation,
IBM Corporation and Intel Corporation



About Dialogues

Briefing Book

Discussion Archive


Report of the Working Group on Professional Personnel Development


Executive Summary


K-12 Professional Personnel Development in California

What Is Teacher Quality?
What Is Administrator Quality?
What Is The Value Of A Credential?
The K-12 Context
The Reality
Inadequate Teacher Quality In Low-Performing Schools
Teacher Professional Development Inadequate
Teacher Diversity Lacking
Teacher Compensation Lagging
Recruitment And Retention Of Skilled Administrator Increasingly Difficult

Recent Responses


Systemwide Recommendations
Recommendations For Professional Personal Development In The K-12 System
Specific Recommendations Pertaining To Preparation Of Administrators For Low-Performing And Hard To Staff Schools

Professional Development in Colleges and Universities

Meeting The Unprecented Need For New Faculty In Higher Education
Improving Teaching Quality And Student Learning At Colleges And Universities
Changing Patterns Of Faculty Hiring
Development Of Community College Leadership
Expand Education Doctorates

Recommendations Specific To Higher Education



The Joint Committee to Develop a Master Plan for Education established a Professional Personnel Development (PPD) Working Group to provide recommendations to achieve the following goals:

  • Every student will have the opportunity to learn from a fully qualified teacher or faculty member.
  • The state will ensure a sufficient supply of teachers, faculty and administrators with the qualifications necessary to promote student learning.

The Working Group also examined ways the state could ensure that (1) students and schools with the greatest challenges have access to the best teachers and administrators, and (2) teacher preparation programs fully train teachers in subject matter and pedagogy.

This report from the Working Group first provides definitions for what constitutes teacher quality, administrator quality and the usefulness of a credential. Teacher quality is defined as a continuous process throughout a teacher’s career that is not solely determined by a credential or degree. Essential qualities for a teacher to be considered initially qualified include: subject matter knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, commitment to professional collaboration, ability to use student data, belief that all children can achieve, and ability to reflect on his or her own teaching. Essential qualities for initially qualified principals include: demonstrated teaching effectiveness and ability to supervise instruction, ability to use data to make decisions, strong leadership skills, ability to effectively manage financial and human resources, and ability to communicate effectively with a diverse range of constituents. Finally, the PPD workgroup recommended that credentials be retained for K–12 personnel as indicators of initial preparation and competence in the above areas.

In describing the context of K–12 professional personnel development in California, this report highlights five key issues: inadequate teacher quality in low-performing schools, inadequate teacher professional development, lack of teacher diversity, lagging teacher compensation, and the increasing difficulty of recruiting and retaining skilled administrators. The section that follows lays out in charts the details of recent initiatives important concerning teacher recruitment, preparation and professional development.

In a separate higher education section, this report describes five key issues concerning professional personnel development: the need for new faculty, improving teaching quality and student learning at colleges and universities, changing patterns of faculty hiring, development of community college leadership, and expansion of education doctorates.

The PPD Working Group proposes 14 major recommendations for professional personnel development—the first three concern state and regional issues, recommendations four through nine are regarding K–12, and recommendations ten through fourteen deal with higher education.

State/Regional Issues

  1. Place responsibility for coordination of K–12 professional personnel development activities in the Governor’s Office through the Office of the Secretary for Education.
  2. Create an independent entity that is responsible for collecting data related to teaching and school administration, and evaluating programs and initiatives.
  3. Forge voluntary regional partnerships to provide program coordination, evaluation, monitoring and intervention at the local level.

K–12 Professional Personnel Development

  1. Require that all teachers are adequately prepared prior to assuming responsibility for a classroom.
  2. Focus more state resources and attention on hard to staff schools.
  3. Redesign professional development activities by the state, regional entities and local school districts as well as invest more resources in human capital development.
  4. Redouble state efforts to diversify the educational workforce.
  5. Establish a career ladder for teachers that enables outstanding teachers to stay in the classroom.
  6. Develop partnerships between local school districts and higher education institutions to recruit, prepare and train quality principals.

Higher Education Professional Personnel Development

  1. Increase the capability of California colleges and universities to attract and hire qualified faculty members.
  2. Develop an infrastructure at California colleges and universities to support the ongoing professional development of faculty to improve the quality of teaching and promote student learning.
  3. Commission a study to evaluate the impact of temporary (part-time and full-time) faculty.
  4. Ensure qualified leadership for California community colleges.
  5. Develop new and expanded education doctorate programs in the public sector in collaboration with K–12 educational leaders and community colleges.
Table of Contents
Summary Introduction K-12 Responses
Recommendations Colleges References Members