Middle School Science

Theme - Monitoring: Compilation, Analysis, and Use of Data

Best Practices

  • Wide variety of data from multiple sources collected analyzed, and acted upon. Continual review of state assessments and benchmarks to inform changes to curriculum and instruction.

A variety of data from multiple sources – state assessments, benchmark assessments, course enrollment trends in high school science, day-to-day classroom participation, lab work, written assignments, projects -- are collected and interpreted then followed up by action targeted to address identified needs for students, programs, and instructional practices.

Some differences between higher- and average-performing schools

In the average performers, there may be no district- or school-level benchmark test in the subject areas, and other assessment data are analyzed infrequently – sometimes as little as once per year.

In the higher performers, benchmark tests are used consistently. In the higher performers, analysis of test results and other data includes goal assessment and resetting of achievement goals, which can include modifications of the curriculum scope and sequencing. It also includes dedication of resources (time and human) to support processes for self-evaluation. In average performers the focus is more likely to be on “covering” the curriculum and getting students to pass the state assessment – goals may be left unmet and not followed up upon.

Selected Evidence:

Goals of the annual improvement plan of the Jefferson Middle School science department are specific, measurable, and inter-disciplinary. They are audited regularly throughout the year and used to collectively revise action plans as needed, following specific criteria.

Their data warehouse provides Jefferson with a gap analysis that they use for timely, informed, decision making.

Greene uses a matrix to evaluate all facets of their professional development: planning, content, design, climate/culture, implementation, and evaluation.