Theme: Data & Assessment
Organization Level: System
Critical elements: Higher-performing district/systems design goals, set priorities, and evaluate all initiatives based on multiple measures of data, including both psychosocial development and academic student achievement. To that end, they support ongoing assessment aligned to their college and career readiness mission and provide significant assistance to schools to collect, analyze, and act on these data.
Practice: Maintain data and assessment systems to monitor school and student performance; provide resources for using data to support academic achievement.

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CriteriaLess Effective PracticesSuccess Factors for Meeting State StandardsSuccess Factors for College and Career Readiness
Assessment of College and career readiness

Other than state-mandated tests, student progress toward meeting standards is seldom assessed. Student achievement data is not an integral part of evaluating the curriculum and Instructional program.

Curriculum objectives and instructional practices are assessed frequently and systematically for their effectiveness in promoting student achievement of the district/system or state standards.

The curriculum and the instructional methods used to teach it are assessed and adjusted frequently, systematically, and in a manner integrated into instructional time. Specific college and career readiness assessments are administered in the higher grades to monitor the degree to which the district/systems program is aligned with college and career readiness measures.

Ongoing, Common Assessments

The district/system neither requires nor supports the development of common assessments for tracking student achievement throughout the year and monitoring the performance of schools within the district/system. It is therefore difficult to perceive weaknesses in the overall program or to compare performance across schools in a timely manner.

Formative assessments are developed or purchased to be used district/system-wide to monitor student progress at all grade levels, to evaluate the performance of schools, and to address weaknesses in a timely manner.

The district/system provides time and expertise to assist teams of specialists, instructional leaders, and teachers in obtaining or writing common formative assessments (including performance based, psychosocial, and traditional) aligned to the college and career ready standards. These ongoing, relevant assessments form the cornerstone for monitoring the performance of students, teachers, and schools.

Data & Decision Making

Student achievement data is not central to the district/system or district/systems decision-making. Even when student performance is considered in setting goals or evaluating reform measures, it must compete with other factors, such as tradition, ease of implementation, and other budget priorities.

District/system understands that helping students learn the content and master the skills set forth in the standards is the primary purpose of the schools. Consequently, key decisions about goals, initiatives, materials, and allocation of resources are based on data and examined through the lens of how well they support student achievement.

Analysis of data, including student achievement results, psychosocial data, and adult practice data, is the basis for all decisions. Multiple sources of data are relevant, actionable and directly inform goals, evaluation, and allocation of resources. School leaders are active users of data for evaluating school culture, effectiveness of instruction, and the success of innovations and initiatives.

Access to Actionable Data

District/system disseminates to schools what data is available, but the output is generally in the form of raw data rather than actionable information; little effort is made to organize data or disaggregate itby grades, subjects, classrooms, or groups of studentsin ways that would make it useful to schools and administrators.

Data is not only collected but also organized, disaggregated, analyzed, and shared with schools in meaningful ways. The district/system provides ongoing reports and supports school leaders in interpreting the data to perceive its implications, such as strengths and weaknesses of the program, the performance of schools and teachers, and progress toward closing student achievement gaps.

A Virtual data highway exists within the district/system. Student achievement datagrades, scores on formative assessments, benchmark mastery, and psychosocial metricsflow throughout the network in timely and actionable form, often electronically. Administrators are provided with support in capturing, interpreting, and sharing data.

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