Professional Development | News

Chicago Public Schools Adds Flipped Professional Development for Lowest-Performing Schools

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has adopted a blended approach to teacher professional development in an effort to improve its lowest-performing schools.

The district's Office of Strategic School Support Services (OS4) has selected Knowledge Delivery Systems (KDS) to deliver professional development at 22 "reinvestment schools" for three years via a flipped learning model.

The KDS professional development program includes 50 hours of online coursework and in-person coaching, observation, feedback, and instruction.

"In these accountability-driven times, districts often focus their time and money on teacher evaluations to identify a small number of ineffective teachers," said Alvin Crawford, CEO of Knowledge Delivery Systems, in a prepared statement. "CPS is, instead, focused on providing a system of intensive support for teachers to help them improve their practice, which impacts all teachers and helps all students. We are providing effective professional learning that improves teaching practice on a large scale for a lot of students, very efficiently."

The CPS professional development program was designed by a collaborative team of district and KDS personnel, and will include courses such as "Transforming School Culture," "Common Core State Standards," and "Assessment of the Common Core."

"CPS recognizes the importance of providing both school leaders and teachers with ongoing, comprehensive professional development and support that will help them reach their full potential in driving student success," said Barbara Byrd-Bennett, CPS CEO, in a prepared statement. "We are committed to the OS4 reinvestment strategy of supporting high-need schools through intensive PD, and we are excited to pair our OS4 schools with Knowledge Delivery Systems in these efforts."

The third-largest district in the United States, Chicago Public Schools serves approximately 404,000 students at 472 elementary schools, 106 high schools, 96 charter school campuses, and seven contract schools. More information about CPS is available at

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at

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