Year 6 Project Overview: Rhode Island Professional Learning Standards

Rhode Island Legislation 16-97-9 identifies that the Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education address key issues of educational practice. The legislation requires that the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) address issues of professional learning to ensure all educators have access to high-quality, long-term professional learning. The purpose of NCC’s technical assistance is to provide guidance, resources, and capacity-building to support a statewide leadership group that will develop and recommend policy, implementation strategies, and resources to support the development of statewide professional learning standards.

NCC will support RIDE to develop a definition of professional learning, statewide professional learning standards, and accompanying guidance for the field to effectively implement the standards. RIDE intends to complete the development of standards to be approved by the Rhode Island Council on Elementary and Secondary Education in March, 2018. To support the standards being understood and ready to be applied by Local Education Agencies across the state, NCC will work with RIDE to support the development of dissemination materials, such as professional development audits for districts, and guidance documents for schools and districts, to ensure the field can use the Rhode Island Standards for Professional Learning to guide rigorous, high-quality educator learning.

Progress to Date

  • NCC and RIDE completed four major initial activities: 1) Developed a draft of professional learning standards, 2) Completed an internal review of existing certification and licensure regulations in order to identify regulatory changes that will strengthen and support standards implementation, 3) Developed a review protocol for use with an internal audience, and 4) Developed an external feedback protocol and agenda, and scheduled review meetings with external educational groups.
  • NCC provided input into the agenda design for the stakeholder review process, the initial draft of the professional learning standards, and revisions to the certification and recertification policy to support professional learning standards implementation for teachers and leaders.
  • NCC has provided access to national players in this work, in particular supporting dialogue with Learning Forward to engage RIDE in a national project focused on the use of pilot implementation sites.

Research, Resources and Collaborations

RIDE is exploring a partnership with Learning Forward to support this work, which would involve participation in a national network for states to learn from one another as they adopt professional learning standards. If this partnership moves forward, NCC is poised to provide facilitation and ongoing guidance to support Rhode Island districts to implement the new Rhode Island Professional Learning Standards and develop guidance for the field.

Contact Person

For more information, contact Nancy Gerzon at

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