ERIC Number: ED470263
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Reflections on Using Academic Performance Targeting To Promote School Improvement and Change (Washington, Dc, June 25, 2001).
Suh, Jenny; Pechman, Ellen
The Program for Student Achievement (PSA) focused on improving urban middle-grades student achievement in participating districts in Texas and California. Districts were asked to establish performance targets for eighth graders in core academic areas. The PSA conducted a quantitative evaluation of districts' progress and produced an annual report for each of the districts using data from National Assessment of Educational Progress-based assessments, longitudinal reports of state and local assessments, and longitudinal tracking of student progress. A 2001 seminar was held to review districts' experiences and lessons learned from working with the targets. Lessons learned included target setting requires a thorough, shared understanding of what "meeting standards" means; alignment of standards, assessments, and instruction is fundamental to performance targeting; staff development on understanding and using assessments is important; and community engagement is crucial. Mechanisms for promoting personal and institutional accountability included promoting shared goals and focused reporting of student progress. Challenges to using performance targets included an absence of longitudinal data and continually changing policies. Alternative strategies for targeting improvement and change include giving teachers' perspectives greater weight in setting standards, providing diagnostic information that makes sense to teachers, and increased specificity in the way goals and plans are articulated. Included is an example of performance targeting that is working under the direction of the Southern Regional Education Board. List of participants and a meeting agenda are appended. (SM)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Accountability, Educational Improvement, Grade 8, Middle Schools, Program Evaluation, School Districts, Student Evaluation, Urban Schools
Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, 250 Park Avenue, Suite 900, New York, NY 10177. Tel: 212-551-9100; Fax: 212-986-4558. Web site: http://www.emcf.org.
Publication Type: Collected Works - Proceedings
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: Policy Studies Associates, Inc., Washington, DC.