District Snapshots: Schools Find Success With Data Management System

Teachers Dig In With Data. Three years ago, Paramount High School in California was in trouble. Only 20% of its 10th-grade students passed the state High School Exit Exam, and grades were falling. But with the assistance of outside coaching and a new data management system, teachers worked in course-specific teams to align standards, instruction and assessment. Focusing and analyzing their efforts soon led to changes in classroom practice. Teachers planned good first teaching lessons as well as interventions for students who needed extra assistance. Paramount High School ended last school year with 69% of its students passing the High School Exit Exam.

Principals Designate Academic Planning Time. Teachers in California’s Snowline School District had been using a data management system and a process for analyzing student data together for several years when their principals discovered a new opportunity. After attending school-based grade level and department Structured Teacher Planning Time meetings, Snowline principals were anxious to share findings, innovative ideas and progress with their peers. They designated quarterly principal meetings as Structured Principal Planning Time meetings; now, they bring their school data into a setting of collegial analysis, problem solving and resource allocation. When schools have similar needs, they ban together to provide targeted support.

Data Using Teacher Leaders. Clark County School District in Nevada is well-known for its rapid student growth. How d'es one keep up with 280,000 students and growing? Yet, within four districtwide professional development days, more than 2,000 teachers were taught how to read the results of their most recent formative assessment test, how to engage their peers in analyzing the data, and how to prompt teacher-designed interventions. Because of this, Clark County celebrated the overwhelming success of their teachers’ ability to provide quality leadership in almost every style.

This article originally appeared in the 04/01/2005 issue of THE Journal.