PreK-12 Market Headlines

Learning Bridges and NEA Academy Roll out Innovative New Teacher Support Tool

Research-based Learning Bridges® System Opens the Doors for Individual Teachers Who Are Seeking Expanded and Targeted Professional Development Options

CHANDLER, Ariz.--(via BUSINESS WIRE)--Learning Bridges, a provider of research-based, online professional development programs proven to increase teacher effectiveness, today announced a new Teacher Support Tool being offered as part of a partnership with the National Education Association, through its NEA Academy. Affordable and easy-to-use, the Teacher Support Tool gives NEA members instant access to customizable professional development that increases teacher effectiveness and improves student outcomes.

The Learning Bridges Teacher Support Tool comprises five powerful tools drawn from the Learning Bridges system that have been rolled into one affordable, easy-to-access application. They include:
• Instructional Strategies: This tool provides teachers with the most effective research-based instructional strategies by grade level standards and the Common Core State Standards. For ease of use, these strategies are ranked in order of power to impact student achievement.
• Lesson Plans: Teachers can review and choose from thousands of proven, high quality lesson plans for grades K-12 in a variety of subjects.
• Parent Activities: Ideas for engaging parents in their child’s learning are available in English and Spanish.
• Professional Development: Unlimited access to 46 professional development courses delivers just-in-time learning on instructional strategies and teaching standards.
• Online Community: A national online learning community allows teachers to ask and answer questions in an online forum.

“Research shows that an effective teacher is the highest predictor of student learning and achievement. Who better than the individual teachers to understand what professional development and training they need to be the most effective educators they can be?” asks Sandra K. Darling, Ph.D., president, Learning Bridges. “The Teacher Support Tool puts that power directly in the hands of educators who are responsible for planning and implementing the learning in their classrooms.”

Darling further stated that the Teacher Support Tool is particularly timely as states transition to the Common Core State Standards. “Implementing new standards is very challenging on all levels. The Teacher Support Tool makes the transition easy for educators through its aligned instructional strategies, lesson plans, and professional development,” she said.

All professional development courses offered through the NEA Academy website are carefully screened against a set of quality standards developed by NEA members in consultation with the National Staff Development Council. In the Quality Review Board’s evaluation, Learning Bridges courses and the system’s unique, patented approach scored in the high 90s out of a possible 100 on every quality standard.

According to a seven-year study by McREL (Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning), a nonprofit, nonpartisan education research organization, students whose teachers participate in Learning Bridges’ courses score 13 to 21 percentile points higher on district and state reading and math tests than other students. “This is the highest impact on learning of any professional development system in the industry,” stated Darling. McREL cited the findings in a 2009 report, “Learning Bridges: The Relationship Between Online Professional Development and Student Achievement.”

At Learning Bridges®, our mission is to increase teacher effectiveness in order to improve academic achievement. With more than 6,000 schools served nationwide, the web-based Learning Bridges System provides a comprehensive, systemic approach to professional development with more than 50 courses on research-based instructional strategies aligned to core content standards and assessments for all 50 states. The company was founded in 1998 by Dr. Sandra K. Darling, a researcher, author, presenter and leading expert on research-based instructional strategies. Learning Bridges is based in Chandler, Ariz. For more information, visit