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North Carolina District Moves to Performance Management To Communicate with Community

Anson County Schools (ACS) of Wadesboro, NC, has adopted performance management to allow it to communicate to stakeholders and the broader community its progress in achieving strategic commitments to education. The goal, said district leaders, is to provide quick and easy access for faculty, staff, administrators, students, and interested community members to follow, on an ongoing basis, all of the ways in which the district is approaching, and succeeding in, its commitment to educational improvement.

The district's strategic commitments include: ensuring all ACS students meet or exceed state and community academic learning standards; engaging and partnering with parents and the community to meet this goal; and ensuring the district, its schools, and academic components are organized efficiently and effectively in their efforts to meet this goal.

For the project, the district has chosen the SeeChange Performance Management System from Mariner. Using an onscreen "dashboard," SeeChange allows stakeholders to monitor the district's progress in:

  • Communicating performance in meeting strategic commitments;
  • Maintaining dialog with parents, staff, and community;
  • Demonstrating commitment to transparency and accountability; and
  • Accelerating student learning.

"Our district is making significant progress in student achievement and we want it to continue," said Superintendent Greg Firn. "Using dashboards like these and sharing them with the community and school board allow all of us to participate in the cycle of continuous improvement across the district, in every school and for every student. Our goal is really to make the invisible visible and improve operations and institutional effectiveness--everything that supports teachers and learning."

ACS has been working with Mariner since spring 2010 to customize its dashboard and develop an implementation plan. District dashboards are the primary feature of the "Communities" component of the SeeChange system, which also includes a "Plans" component dedicated to broad strategic plans for confronting issues, seeking improvement, and identifying success; an "Instruction" component focused on implementing the plans and scoring the progress and results; and a "Data Foundation," which produces the metrics and reports necessary to allow users to determine progress levels in all facets of the plans they establish. An downloadable overview of the SeeChange system is accessible here.

About the Author

Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.

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