Metro Schools no longer has to scramble for space to hold teacher training programs. Now the question is whether that the content of that training meets the district’s needs.
The new, six-million dollar Martin Professional Development Center opened today, paid for and built by the Nashville Alliance for Public Education. It features up-to-date technology as well as ample classroom and meeting space, replacing the outdated and outgrown Randall Learning Center.
During the year that it took to transform the old Eakin Elementary School building into the new center, several reports took issue with the quality of Metro’s faculty education offerings. School Board member David Fox says he’s heard negative feedback from teachers, too.
“The professional development that a lot of teachers were receiving just wasn’t relevant enough. It wasn’t rigorous, it didn’t pertain closely enough to actual classroom experience.”
Fox is pleased with the new facility, but also wants to see a focus on coaching teachers in their own classrooms.
The district is currently working with the state on a new plan for professional development. Interim schools director Chris Henson says the training requirements for teachers will be determined on a school by school basis.