Theme: Data & Assessment
Organization Level: School
Critical elements: School leaders from higher-performing schools establish goals, set budget priorities, and evaluate the strength of their overall program and its components based on student achievement and progress toward college and career readiness. To that end, they supervise ongoing assessments of students and closely monitor classroom practice, providing significant support to teachers to collect, analyze, and act on these data.
Practice: Use a variety of data, including college-ready metrics, to monitor instructional practices and student achievement and to support teachers in using data to improve instruction.

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CriteriaLess Effective PracticesSuccess Factors for Meeting State StandardsSuccess Factors for College and Career Readiness
Ongoing, Common Assessments

The term assessment tends to be narrowly defined as annual, state-mandated testing or other standardized instruments. School leaders see little usefulness in these data and question the value of devoting school time to such assessments.

School leaders recognize that assessmentsboth formative and summativeare essential for monitoring student progress toward mastery of standards, identifying strengths and weaknesses in the instructional program, and evaluating the effectiveness of classroom practice.

Assessment is broadly defined, including daily checks for understanding, diagnostic tests, formative, and end-of-course assessments, and college and career ready measures including valid and reliable state standards aligned assessments, including authentic assessment of psychosocial. School leaders view assessment as an integral part of the program, and it is central to all discussions of curriculum, teaching, learning, and evaluation.

Support for Using Data

Assessment data is viewed once a year when state test results are released. Although school leaders may check for areas of concern, data is seldom analyzed and shared with teachers in open discussions of the curriculum and instructional program.

Review of assessment data is ongoing and transparent; school leaders regularly set aside time to discuss measures of student progress with the whole staff, with groups, or with individual teachers. Such data is perceived as useful, even if it highlights weaknesses in the schools performance.

School leaders empower teachers to respond to the data in proactive ways. Through professional development and structured opportunities to examine data, teachers are challenged to solve problems and take action in response to data.

Student Performance & Teacher Effectiveness Data

School leaders avoid discussing assessment data with teachers, especially in the context of evaluating classroom practice. Through overt or covert messaging, school leaders convey the idea that student achievement is not within a teachers control.

School leaders incorporate review of student achievement data into their discussions with educators, including debriefing after observations, and as part of formal evaluation conferences.

School leaders continuously analyze and respond to data and take the necessary actions to improve student instruction. Data drives all conversations about the effectiveness of classroom practice.

Assessment of College & Career-Readiness

The connection between the data and the annual school goals is often loose and the targets nebulous; it is difficult to track progress or determine whether or not the goal was met.

Schools base their annual goals on student achievement data and express these in terms of measurable outcomes. Ongoing assessment data provides evidence of progress toward reaching the stated targets.

College and career readiness indicators drive the schools goal-setting process. The school tracks clear and measurable school goals based on the results of internal assessments and external metrics aligned to college and career readiness, such as performance on ACT, SAT, and AP exams, psychosocial metrics, postsecondary acceptance, remediation and completion rates, and rates of living-wage jobs obtained.

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