Best Practice Links
High School Themes
Theme - Monitoring: Compilation, Analysis, and Use of Data
- Collective accountability for student performance.
- Constant collection and interpretation of a variety of data from multiple sources followed by action strategically targeted to address current and future needs.
Higher-performing schools not only gather a wide variety of data from a number of sources, they consistently act on it in a timely fashion. Many have already analyzed Regents exams and planned next steps before they get the results from the state. This proactive stance is typical of higher performers, which also do trend analyses to try to spot where troubles begin and take preventive steps (e.g., they look for correlations between dropouts and particular data points earlier in students’ careers).
They have put intervention measures in place (e.g., an extra last period) and require students who fall behind academically to attend, with penalties for failure to do so. They also try to prevent problems by monitoring risky behavior and initiating Student Support Team meetings when any teacher requests it. In general, teachers and administrators take collective responsibility for performance.
In addition to Regents exams, other sources of data continually collected and analyzed include mid-term exams (oftentimes developed, administered and analyzed by department), and surveys from students, parents, and graduates. Teachers also monitor student progress on a daily basis through classroom observations, quizzes, tests, and projects and report progress to students and parents at least every five-weeks.
Some differences between higher- and average-performing schools
Average performers demonstrate individual rather than collective responsibility for monitoring student progress, and administrators are more likely to be trying to foster greater use of evidence by all, but conversations about what the data mean and how to use the data to improve student achievement are either infrequent or non-existent.
In general, average-performing schools and higher-performing schools differ in the degree to which the collection, interpretation, and dissemination of data are systematic and integrated into strategic allocation of resources.
Each program in Honeoye Falls-Lima undertakes a structured program evaluation every four years, on an established schedule. Like other evaluation processes in the district, this one is collaborative and reflective and involves a team.
Cambridge completes an extensive end-of-year report on all aspects of the school’s performance -- assessment results, attendance, reports on field trips, arts performances, assemblies and guest speakers, and college acceptances. Results on AP exams and New York State Assessment results are reported in general and for subgroups and show percentages reaching the goals for academic achievement.
Evidence in Honeoye Falls-Lima includes survey information from parents and community members, which is analyzed and fed into the Program Evaluation Cycle process.
Making the monitoring of student achievement data an art form, the principal of White Plains High School provides a "report to the faculty" that includes gap analyses, cohort comparisons, and analysis of demographic trends in honors and AP courses.
At the end of their first semester, MacArthur HS surveys ninth graders to learn how to improve their transition to high school and support their performance.