Action Imperative 2: By 2018, a statewide system of differentiated tiers of professional learning and support to Local School Systems and Public Agencies will be fully implemented to produce effective early childhood service providers, teachers of students with disabilities, related service providers, and paraprofessionals.

DSE/EIS Action

It is critical that our professional learning opportunities be designed to address the skills needed for professionals and paraprofessionals to provide appropriate high-quality instruction, targeted interventions and individualized supports using a data-informed decision making approach and research-based practices.

Therefore—

2.1
The DSE/EIS, in collaboration with LSS/PAs and strategic partners, will provide differentiated professional learning opportunities and resources to LSS/PAs on areas identified using a needs assessment related to data-informed decision making, appropriate assessments, IFSP and IEP processes, evidence-based early intervention, and specialized instruction, student behavior and intervention, and family engagement.

2.2
The DSE/EIS will implement a data system that enables LSS/PAs to use real time data to develop and manage relevant annual professional learning plans, aligned with the Standards for Professional Development, linked to child outcomes, school readiness, instructional achievement, functional outcomes, and data-based decision making for results; and allows tracking progress for improvement.

2.3
Through a collaboration between MSDE, Institutes of Higher Education (IHE), and Maryland Approved Alternative Personnel Preparation Programs (MAAPP) coordinators, early childhood and educator preparation programs will utilize evidence-based instruction and practices to increase the knowledge and skills of service providers and teacher candidates teaching students with disabilities related to data-informed decision making, appropriate assessments, IFSP and IEP processes, evidence-based early intervention and specialized instruction, student behavior and intervention, and family engagement.

Why it is important

There is a positive correlation between highly effective teachers and student achievement.

  • Infants and toddlers need to receive high-quality, family-centered services in natural settings to build the foundational skills for school readiness. Students with disabilities need to receive high quality instruction and interventions to achieve the Maryland College and Career Readiness Standards. Therefore, educators and paraprofessionals need the knowledge and skills to be highly qualified and effective.
  • Evidence-based pre-service and inservice professional learning aligned with the Standards for Professional Development from Learning Forward needs to be provided statewide in a coordinated, systemic manner. This includes a focus on data-informed decision making, appropriate assessments, early intervention and specialized instruction, student behavior and intervention, and family engagement.
  • Teacher preparation programs need to be able to meet the demands for skilled educators and create programs of study that prepare teachers and specialists for the schools of the future.
  • Early childhood service providers and general and special education teachers must be knowledgeable in assessment, specialized instruction, and student behavior and intervention.
  • All teachers and service providers, from early intervention to post-secondary programs, need to know instructional and intervention practices that are based on research and show evidence of effectiveness.
  • Educators need to know how to modify the curriculum, use technology to promote learning, and create positive learning environments that promote student engagement.
  • Educators need to know how to collaborate effectively with each other to design and provide instruction that reaches all children and youth with different instructional and support needs.

by Maryland State Department of Education Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services Staff