(a) The Legislature recognizes that effective professional growth must continue to occur throughout the careers of all teachers, in order that teachers remain informed of changes in pedagogy, subject matter, and pupil needs. In enacting this section, it is the intent of the Legislature to encourage teachers to engage in an individual program of professional growth that extends their content knowledge and teaching skills and for school districts to establish professional growth programs that give individual teachers a wide range of options to pursue as well as significant roles in determining the course of their professional growth.
(b) An individual program of professional growth may consist of activities that are aligned with the California Standards for the Teaching Profession that contribute to competence, performance, or effectiveness in the profession of education and the classroom assignments of the teacher. Acceptable activities may include, among other acceptable activities, the completion of courses offered by regionally accredited colleges and universities, including instructor-led interactive courses delivered through online technologies; participation in professional conferences, workshops, teacher center programs, staff development programs, or a California Reading Professional Development Program operated pursuant to Article 2 (commencing with Section 99220) of Chapter 5 of Part 65; service as a mentor teacher; participation in school curriculum development projects; participation in systematic programs of observation and analysis of teaching; service in a leadership role in a professional organization; and participation in educational research or innovation efforts. Employing agencies and the bargaining agents of employees may negotiate to agree on the terms of programs of professional growth within their jurisdictions, provided that the agreements shall be consistent with this section.
(c) An individual program of professional growth may include a basic course in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, which includes training in the subdiaphragmatic abdominal thrust (also known as the "Heimlich maneuver") and meets or exceeds the standards established by the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross for courses in that subject or minimum standards for training programs established by the Emergency Medical Services Authority. An individual program of professional growth may also include a course in first aid that meets or exceeds the standards established by the American Red Cross for courses in that subject or minimum standards for training programs established by the Emergency Medical Services Authority.
(d) (1) If a local educational agency offers a program of professional growth for teachers, administrators, paraprofessional educators, or other classified employees involved in the direct instruction of pupils, the local educational agency shall evaluate professional learning based on all of the following criteria, and the local educational agency is encouraged to choose professional learning that meets any of the following criteria:
(A) Helps attract, grow, and retain effective educators.
(B) Is a part of every educator's experience in order to accelerate instructional improvement and support pupil learning.
(C) Is based on needs assessment of educators and tied to supporting pupil learning.
(D) Emphasizes the importance of meeting the needs of all pupils.
(E) Is grounded in a description of effective practice, as articulated in the California Standards for the Teaching Profession.
(F) Affords educators opportunities to engage with others to develop their craft, including, but not limited to, opportunities to increase their content knowledge.
(G) Ensures educators have adequate time to learn about, practice, reflect, adjust, critique, and share what educators need to ensure that all pupils, especially high-needs pupils, develop knowledge and lifelong learning skills that will help the pupils to be successful.
(H) Recognizes and utilizes expert teacher and leader skills.
(I) Attends to collective growth needs as well as educators' individual growth needs.
(J) Contributes to a positive, collaborative, and supportive adult learning environment.
(K) Contributes to cycles of inquiry and improvement.
(L) Is not limited to a single instance, but supports educators through multiple iterations or engagements.
(M) Is based on a coherent and focused plan.
(2) Professional learning activities may also include collaboration time for teachers to develop new instructional lessons, to select or develop common formative assessments, to analyze pupil data, for mentoring projects for new teachers, or for extra support for teachers to improve practice. Appropriate professional learning may be part of a coherent plan that combines school activities within the school, including, but not limited to, lesson study or coteaching, and external learning opportunities that meet all of the following criteria:
(A) Are related to the academic subjects taught.
(B) Provide time to meet and work with other teachers.
(C) Support instruction and pupil learning to improve instruction in a manner that is consistent with academic content standards.
(e) For purposes of this section, "local educational agency" means a school district, county office of education, or charter school.
(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 199, Sec. 1.)