A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n


``SEC. 2001. FINDINGS.

``The Congress finds as follows:
``(1) Reaching the National Education Goals, particularly the third, fourth, and fifth National Education Goals, requires a comprehensive educational reform strategy that involves parents, schools, government, communities, and other public and private organizations at all levels.
``(2) A crucial component of the strategy for achieving such goals is ensuring, through sustained and intensive high-quality professional development, that all teachers will provide challenging learning experiences in the core academic subjects for their students.
``(3) Decisionmaking as to what activities a State or local educational agency should undertake to improve teaching and learning are best made by individuals in the schools closest to the classroom and most knowledgeable about the needs of schools and students.
``(4) The potential positive impact of high-quality professional development is underscored by recent research findings that--
``(A) professional development must be focused on teaching and learning in order to improve the opportunities of all students to achieve higher standards;
``(B) effective professional development focuses on discipline-based knowledge and effective subject-specific pedagogical skills, involves teams of teachers, and, where appropriate, administrators and pupil services personnel, in a school and, through professional networks of teachers, and, where appropriate, teacher educators, administrators, pupil services personnel, and parents, is interactive and collaborative, motivates by its intrinsic content and relationship to practice, builds on experience and learning-by-doing, and becomes incorporated into the everyday life of the school;
``(C) professional development can dramatically improve classroom instruction and learning when teachers, and, where appropriate, administrators, pupil services personnel, and parents, are partners in the development and implementation of such professional development; and
``(D) new and innovative strategies for teaching to high standards will require time for teachers, outside of the time spent teaching, for instruction, practice, and collegial collaboration.
``(5) Special attention must be given in professional development activities to ensure that education professionals are knowledgeable of, and make use of, strategies for serving populations that historically have lacked access to equal opportunities for advanced learning and career advancement.
``(6) Professional development is often a victim of budget reductions in fiscally difficult times.
``(7) The Federal Government has a vital role in helping States and local educational agencies to make sustained and intensive high-quality professional development in the core academic subjects become an integral part of the elementary and secondary education system.
``(8) Professional development activities must prepare teachers, pupil services personnel, paraprofessionals and other staff in the collaborative skills needed to appropriately teach children with disabilities, in the core academic subjects.
``(9) Parental involvement is an important aspect of school reform and improvement. There is a need for special attention to ensure the effective involvement of parents in the education of their children. Professional development should include methods and strategies to better prepare teachers and, where appropriate, administrators, to enable parents to participate fully and effectively in their children's education.

SEC. 1604. CONSTRUCTION. Table of Contents SEC. 2002. PURPOSES.