Memphis teachers voice concerns over district's professional development program

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Dozens of Memphis teachers made their voices heard during Tuesday night’s Shelby County School Board meeting. Many said they are fed up with a professional development program that is taking up too much of their time.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Dozens of Memphis teachers made their voices heard during Tuesday night’s Shelby County School Board meeting. Many said they are fed up with a professional development program that is taking up too much of their time.

The professional development program is part of the district’s strategic plan to increase graduation rates and college readiness.

The school board meeting was a sea of red Tuesday night as teachers showed a united front to make sure they’re seen and heard. There were so many there that there was standing room only.

“We are tired of being punished. We are graded on this P.D., and now it is being shared with administrators – and that is unacceptable. Let’s get this right and get our district back on the path to success for our students. P.D., not punishment,” said one teacher.

“Enough of this is enough. No one listens to teachers. You are forcing teachers in this district to do things that does not happen across this state anywhere else. Sixty-four hours of P.D. is horrible. This district spent $200,000 to punish teachers.”

The district released the following statement to WREG on Wednesday:

“Just wanted to share some context about the District’s professional development requirements. Regarding comments expressed at tonight’s Board meeting, it’s important to note that of nearly 6,000 teachers who enrolled and completed the PD courses, only an average of 3% of teachers did not, which indicates that our PD implementation has been vastly successful and comprehensive. Attached you will find a thorough timeline of our communication cadence and a breakdown of required PD categories. Also attached is the latest update from the Superintendent regarding PD support and a one-pager about Content Cadres.”
Those documents have been included below.

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