An integrative approach to professional development to support college- and career- readiness standards


  • Katie Pak University of Pennsylvania
  • Laura M. Desimone University of Delaware
  • Arianna Parsons University of Pennsylvania



College- and career- readiness standards, standards-based reform, professional development, district leadership


Though scholars agree that professional development (PD) is a key mechanism for implementing education policies that call for teacher change, and that PD generally needs to be content-focused, active, collaborative, coherent, and sustained, the application of this framework has yielded mixed results. In this qualitative study, we employed structured interviewing methods to explore how district leaders across five states are implementing college- and career- readiness (CCR) standards across the United States by creatively adapting and integrating the features of this PD framework in order to meet the demands of this mandated educational policy. We illustrate a revised model for how 70 district officials are conceptualizing these features of PD to support CCR standards-based learning.


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Author Biographies

Katie Pak, University of Pennsylvania

Katie Pak, Ed.D., is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. Her research includes policy implementation, educational leadership, school improvement, and leadership for critical social change.

Laura M. Desimone, University of Delaware

Laura M. Desimone, Ph.D., is director of research in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Delaware and a professor in the School of Education in Educational Statistics and Research Methods and in the Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy & Administration. She studies how state-, district-, and school-level policy can better promote changes in teaching that lead to improved student achievement and to closing the achievement gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students.

Arianna Parsons, University of Pennsylvania

Arianna Parsons studies curriculum development and professional learning, in both domestic and international settings. As a former special education teacher, she is especially interested in how these topics play out in inclusive instructional settings for students with disabilities. 




How to Cite

Pak, K., Desimone, L. M., & Parsons, A. (2020). An integrative approach to professional development to support college- and career- readiness standards. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 28, 111.