on Use of Instructional Materials
Fiscal and Personnel Stability
Professional development leaders (PDLs) were an essential feature of an infrastructure to support improved high quality mathematics and science instruction. In addition, using PDLs was a fiscally responsible approach to long-term sustainability. By creating a pool of individuals who remained classroom teachers and were paid additional stipends when they led professional development sessions, the district did not incur the costs of funding full-time professional development leader positions (or of replacing the classroom teachers if the PDL was removed from the classroom). This solution was fiscally prudent and more likely sustainable in the long term. Additionally, as the pool of PDLs became larger from year to year, the initiative was not dependent on just a few individuals. This mitigated the effects of PDL turnover. In addition, being CPS classroom teachers themselves, the PDLs generally had a strong rapport with, and buy-in from, teachers participating in their professional development sessions. As teachers became expert users of the instructional materials, they became leaders, not only in district-wide professional development, but also within their schools or areas, thereby improving the prospects for long-term sustainability of reform.