The research on Lastinger's teacher training model
As yesterday's story about the University of Florida's Lastinger Center noted, Lastinger and its supporters are making bold claims about how good their program is. Lastinger, founded just eight years ago, says it's a "global leader in the teacher quality movement," while Pinellas Superintendent Julie Janssen says its model is "nationally proven and internationally proven."
But is it that good? We quoted teachers who absolutely LOVE the Lastinger program. We also talked to two professional development experts who said the center's model (and by that we're rolling in their big emphasis on "inquiry" with the Florida Master Teacher's Initiative) does take best practices in teacher training and roll them into one, comprehensive package. They said it sounds promising.
But "proven"? Decide for yourself. This post includes all the reports and studies Lastinger officials sent us when we asked for evidence about their model's effectiveness.
Several are attached below. Another one is here. Some of the research includes Lastinger partnership schools in Pinellas; most of it does not.
All of the research was done by University of Florida researchers. Lastinger told us they are independent of the center, though one is listed on the center web site as a Lastinger professor in residence in Miami.
We also attached documents with more detail about the study that SRI International will do of the Lastinger model in Miami-Dade, along with a timeline for the results. As we mentioned in the story, the student achievement results are slated for 2015. We also mentioned that the results should shed light on the Lastinger-led effort in all districts, not just Pinellas.
One thing we didn't mention: SRI is a partner with the Pinellas County School District on the SunBay Digital Math project to improve math instruction in middle schools. Maybe that matters; maybe it doesn't. We thought it should be noted.
We also noted in the story that we asked Pinellas officials for Pinellas-specific data about Lastinger's effectiveness. We were told that Pinellas had begun a "comprehensive evaluation plan" but we could get no specifics last week on when the plan began, when the results might be ready and what specific indicators the district would be looking at.
We asked several district officials this morning for that information. If we get it, we'll pass it on.