1. What is CDL?
CDL is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that specializes in the development and dissemination of evidence-based research, knowledge, strategies and tactics that improve teaching and increase student learning.
2. What issues does CDL address?
Our primary focus is on increasing teacher effectiveness.
Research confirms that the single most important factor in determining how well a student will learn is the teacher. Standards set the course, and assessments provide the benchmarks, but it is highly effective teaching that makes substantial and sustained gains in student learning. This means that all children, and especially our most disadvantaged children, must have the most highly effective teachers.
Using an on-the-ground, in-the-trenches approach, we provide educators with professional learning that is specific and relevant to students’ and teachers’ needs.
Similar to the medical model used by physicians, CDL helps educators to (1) identify the issues/problems, (2) match the issues with specific strategies and/or interventions, and (3) implement the strategies/interventions with intensity and fidelity.
We work with individual educators, small groups of educators, whole school faculties, and with district-wide capacity-building initiatives.
3. What is CDL’s special expertise?
CDL has special expertise in the areas of evidence-based teaching strategies, building the capacity of teachers and intervention for students who are behind. We tackle real-time issues such as ways to remediate struggling readers, differentiate instruction for diverse learners, deliver explicit instruction, increase student engagement, and build and sustain collective capacity.
4. What types of service does CDL provide?
CDL’s services fall into two broad silos:
- Evidence-based professional learning for educators: classroom teachers, early childcare providers, administrators, related specialists, and parents and caregivers
- Public engagement of stakeholders at all levels
5. What are CDL’s professional learning services like?
The goal of our professional learning services is to help teachers develop and apply the knowledge and skills necessary to help their students learn to higher levels.
CDL’s professional learning is customized to fit the specific needs of the educators with whom we are working. Together, educators and CDL professionals first determine which professional learning needs will be targeted, and then design a plan of action.
The professional learning is sustained, intensive, connected to practice, and
- uses varied formats and media,
- focuses on teaching and learning of specific content,
- applies research on change,
- sustains support for implementation of professional learning for long term change, and
- builds strong working relationships among educators to increase student learning and build collective capacity.
On an annual basis, CDL convenes educators and experts from across Louisiana and the nation to share the current evidence-based literacy techniques and strategies. This new information is then looped back into the classrooms, adding new tools to teachers’ toolboxes.
6. What are some of CDL’s current professional learning initiatives?
Current CDL professional learning initiatives include:
- Common Core State Standards Support, which builds educators’ capacity to segue into implementing the rigorous standards in the classroom, including evidence-based strategies, close reading, Depth of Knowledge rigor, constructing extended written responses, collaborative conversations, disciplinary literacy, scaffolding (up and down), formative assessments, and professional Learning Communities (PLCs)
- Early Childhood, which helps teachers and childcare providers of children birth to five years build relationships that are responsive in rich learning environments across all settings.
- Language and Learning – Right from Birth, which provides child care providers and parents of children ages birth to three years with the information, skills and support they need to help their children grow emotionally, physically and cognitively so they will be ready to learn when they enter school
- Step It Up for Literacy, (K-3) which builds educators’ capacity to provide systematic, explicit and effective literacy instruction to all students in grades K-3 and targeted intervention for students who are behind
- Step It Up for Literacy, (Grades 4-12), which builds educators’ capacity to provide systematic, explicit and effective literacy instruction to adolescent students and targeted intervention for students who are behind
- Plain Talk About Learning: How Students Learn and How Teachers Should Teach, which helps teachers to identify and remediate learning problems with instructional and behavioral interventions that address individual students’ learning profiles
- Plain Talk About Literacy and Learning, a three-day national institute that focuses on scientifically based reading research, strategies and tactics for educators who serve children ages birth – grade 12
- Greater New Orleans Literacy Institute. In November 2011, CDL entered into a formal partnership with Tulane University, Xavier University of Louisiana, and the Greater New Orleans Education Foundation to found the Greater New Orleans Literacy Institute. The Institute’s goal is to provide a support initiative to ensure that (1) all children ages birth – grade 12 receive effective, evidence-based literacy instruction that advances student achievement, and (2) 100% of Greater New Orleans students will graduate from high school with the literacy skills they need to be college and career ready.
7. What population does CDL serve?
CDL primarily serves Louisiana public school teachers, students and their students’ families. CDL also provides services to schools throughout the U.S. and Canada.
8. How is CDL governed?
CDL has a 10-member Board of Trustees, 11-member Community Advisory Council, and a 12-member Professional Advisory Board. All are volunteers.
9. How is CDL funded?
CDL is funded with both public and private dollars.
- Private – Individual contributions, foundation and corporation grants, and individual fees for service provide CDL with funding.
- Public – Schools use their state, federal, and discretionary funds to employ CDL’s services.
All members of CDL’s Board of Trustees and staff contribute to CDL.