How to Improve Your District End of Year Planning with Assessment Data

How to Improve Your District End of Year Planning with Assessment Data - TLG-IMG-05142019

In an earlier post – Teacher End-of-Year Planning Using MAP Growth Data – we shared three questions that many teachers contemplate after the school year ends, and that the assessment data from MAP® Growth™ can answer. The reality is, however, that these same questions – or variations of them – and their answers are equally important to administrators and school boards.

Are we spending resources wisely and what changes do we need to make based on the assessment data?

This is the district’s version of the teacher question, “Were my efforts to support student growth this year successful?”  Part of addressing this question means comparing schools. While schools review assessment data to see which classrooms have effective approaches that might be replicated, the district can do the same with their schools.

  • Which schools met their growth goals?
  • What’s working at our successful schools that can be replicated?
  • Which schools need the most help?

With MAP Growth, answers to these questions start with the Achievement Status and Growth report. This report can be used to compare how schools are performing in different subject areas and grade levels, and even review projections based on the year’s assessment data.

For example, many school districts convene their principals and assessment staff for year-end data reviews, and these discussions can focus on using the data to help guide resource allocation based on how the year went. Whether that’s a specific program to address a goal strand all schools seem to be struggling with or continuing to fund a program that’s yielded strong results, district-level staff can partner with schools to make sure there’s a strong relationship between school needs and district programs.

Does the assessment data highlight any opportunities to celebrate success?

Districts have an opportunity to solidify a culture of data across their schools by creating opportunities for them to understand one another’s success, and help share the success stories of teachers, schools, and students with everyone. The District Summary Report within MAP Growth is a great place to start. It aggregates data by school, so you can quickly and easily see which schools are having the most success in which subjects. You can even drill down to specific goal strands within subjects, to get ultra-specific about individual successes.

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For example, in a lot of districts, the assessment coordinator will convene a meeting of school principals and ask each to present their own data. This is an effective approach, because it lets each school share their own narrative and present their data in context, in an environment of other schools who are facing the same challenges. Sometimes, those meetings are a chance for schools to inspire one another or become powerful idea-sharing sessions.

What can the assessment data tell us about how to maintain or improve our successes next year?

Districts always need to be planning for school needs for the following year, and the Insights Report within MAP Growth can support this planning. This detailed report is designed to address the most common “big picture” needs of district-level staff. It focuses on three areas:

  • How schools compared in terms of both status and growth
  • Trends that have appeared over time
  • College readiness and proficiency

We’ve shared how teachers can capitalize on MAP Growth assessment data to answer these all-important questions, as well as parents and teachers. With this blog we’ve now come full-circle and covered district administrators and school boards.

You can take a deeper dive, as well, with our recently recorded on-demand webinar “3 Must-dos for year-end review.”

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