A Study of the Impact Professional Development and Its Funding Has on the Academic Achievement of Students in the State of Illinois

Irma Jean Plaxico, Olivet Nazarene University

Ed.D. dissertation completed in 2011 for Olivet Nazarene University.


The outcry of reform for public education has continuously been publicized. Districts have been accused of continuously failing to provide equal and equitable educational opportunities to many students, particularly those classified as economically disadvantaged. More and more students have continued to display deficiencies in reading and math scores, thus lacking the skills necessary to succeed in the competitive society in which they live. Research has linked these deficiencies to a number of variables, including educational funding, teacher quality and the professional development of teachers. This study provided the perceptions of major stakeholders in the American educational system: teachers, administrators, curriculum directors, and superintendents. It also unveiled the sobering reality of the acknowledged failure of many educators to see the relevance of professional development for improving student growth or the connection between training and classroom practices. The relationship between professional development, instructional practices and student achievement is complicated, complex, and intricate; yet, it does exist.