2012 SCORE Prize Winners: Using Data to Enhance Learning - Page 7

USING DATA TO ENHANCE STUDENT LEARNING these data to design their own ongoing assessments and to tailor instruction and, in some cases, assessment, to specific groups of students. Rose Park’s educators and administrators deeply engage in data analysis and use it to drive school and student improvement. They use formal and informal assessment data to help determine the proper course for each of their students. Informal assessment data. Rose Park uses two sources of informal data to augment their formal performance measures. While they see this information as less official than the formal assessment results, teachers possess a sense of confidence from the supplemental knowledge about student performance supplied by the informal data. Currently, Rose Park uses the online programs Study Island and Think Through Math to supplement their knowledge of their students’ understanding and progress toward mastery. While typically used for intervention instruction or to provide supplemental information, Rose Park’s teachers use the information from these programs to identify student weaknesses and to motivate students to push harder. The school’s teachers and academic staff—including the numeracy and literacy coaches—evaluate student performance regularly to assess how well students are progressing. The information is used to make decisions about student placement in appropriate courses and ability groups that are altered based on student progress throughout the year. Formal assessment data. Rose Park uses three major formal data sources to assess academic develop- ment and growth: the state-required TCAP, Discovery Education Assessment, and formative assessments designed by teachers. The school has used data from the Discovery Education Assessment (DEA) for the past three years to measure student growth. The assessment aligns with the Tennessee state education standards, assuring the staff of the data’s utility and relevance. The school’s understanding of student achievement research that emphasizes the benefits of student awareness of their academic performance has led to an important student-monitoring program at Rose Park. “Our Bound for Blue program is based on our Discovery Education Assessment, and it helps kids see where they are performing,” Blankenship said. “Blue represents a high level of accomplishment, green is proficient, yellow is basic, and red is below proficient. Our students work hard to get as close to blue as possible. This allows the students to evaluate their own performance.” The third data source—formal formative assessments—originates with teachers. The school’s numeracy and literacy coaches hold the primary responsibility of disaggregating and disseminating these data for teachers. They also take on the responsibility of ensuring that students receive the appropriate interventions and levels of instruction—a task made easier with the help of reliable performance data. The coaches meet with teachers twice each month and with the professional learning communities to review data, determine what did and did not work instructionally, and consider what academic adjustments must be made. The assessments are designed to include questions and probes to gather data that is as comprehensive, and useful as possible. Teachers use CONCLUSION Rose Park Math and Science Magnet Middle School has a set of strong values and beliefs that drive its progress. The school deeply cherishes collaboration among and between administrators, teachers, and students, and with the families the school serves. Teachers implement highly engaging instructional strategi