Los Angeles Educators Take Lead in Transforming Teacher Professional Development Through "Learning Teams"

Innovative Collaborative Teaching Model Improves Student Performance

Los Angeles, CA -  Los Angeles educators are taking the lead in transforming the way hundreds of middle and high school teachers will receive continuing education and professional development.  Through an agreement with Pearson Education, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) will be the first large school district in the nation to adopt Pearson's "Learning Teams" model where teachers work collaboratively in groups led by trained facilitators to maximize their skills in teaching Mathematics, Science, English Language Arts, and Social Studies.

Learning Teams breaks the mold in the world of educator professional development by bringing teachers together to learn from each other, refine their skills to improve student performance, and self-assess their progress.  Based on 15 years of research, the Learning Teams model starts with the implementation of well-defined student instruction units, and includes teacher team meetings for periodic review and assessment of student performance.  The model actively engages the groups around daily practice in the classroom and allows for continuous adjustment of instruction and intervention.

Data from the Learning Teams pilot program in 15 LAUSD middle and high schools last year show high school student failure rates were reduced by as much as 19 percent.

Pearson's Achievement Solutions CEO Beth Wray said, "Improving teaching is the single most effective step we can take to improve student performance. With Learning Teams, we create an environment that encourages meaningful collaboration and support among teachers.  We find that they benefit from each other's strengths and realize that together teachers become much more effective than they were individually."  Wray added, "We are seeing extremely encouraging initial results, so we are eager to move forward and implement Learning Teams at more schools in the District."

LAUSD's Chief Instructional Officer for Secondary Education Robert Collins said, "The goals of the multi-year effort are to maximize classroom implementation of curriculum and assessment innovations already underway in LAUSD in the core subject areas, while building capacity at the school and district level to sustain this work over time.  Through these efforts, we expect to significantly improve student achievement in all middle and high schools."  He added, "I truly believe that the work we are doing will eventually change the face of education in the United States."

The 2007-08 plan involves up to eight teams per site at 48 middle and high schools and preparing for 36 additional schools in 2008-09, training staff to effectively integrate Learning Teams with existing District programs and innovations, and preparing to scale to additional schools through 2010.

The first year of the agreement between Pearson and LAUSD began July 1, 2007 and runs through June 30, 2008, at a cost of $2,888,103, with options to extend the agreement up to four additional one-year terms.

About Pearson's Learning Teams

Learning Teams provides direct assistance to schools seeking to improve teaching, learning and achievement. Based on 15 years of research conducted in public schools in California, Learning Teams helps establish an infrastructure of leadership and ongoing professional development at each school site that engages teachers to refine their teaching and produce better student results.

The Learning Teams model includes five elements, all of which are well grounded in school effectiveness research and contribute to improved teaching and learning: goals that are set and shared; indicators that measure success; assistance from capable others; leadership that supports and pressures; settings that allow staff to get important things done.

Learning Teams is part of Pearson, the international education and information company.  For more information, go to www.pearsonachievementsolutions.com.

Pearson Contact:

kate.miller@pearson.com
212.641.6115
LAUSD Contact:
binti.harvey@lausd.net
213.241.4575