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Charting the Results
Students at West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) in Richmond, California were falling consistently short of state proficiency targets. So it was with some trepidation that teachers from WCCUSD met to chart their mid-year progress in a January 2007 Data/Feedback/Strategy meeting with Efficacy trainer, Barbara Logan. Using graph paper they created bar charts to show levels of student achievement with data from first and second quarter tests (the complete state exam was administered each time). The results?
While most students were not yet proficient by end-of-year standards, their scores had clearly improved between first and second quarter tests. "They were absolutely jubilant," Barbara recalled. "Their elation came from the realization that they were getting better, even though they weren't there yet."
To the question "Why these scores?" WCCUSD teachers were able to come up with specific answers about what their students knew already, and what they didn't know yet. Consequently they could decide what material was essential to teach by the end of the year. "They saw that there was still a lot of work to do," Barbara said, "but that all the hard work they had been putting in had already created change."
First published in A Nation Reformed? American Education 20 Years After A Nation at Risk, Dr. Jeff Howard identifies two critical problems at the heart of our on-going failure to educate all children to high levels.
Under the right conditions, normal human beings can learn to do anything — from speaking human languages, to Advanced Placement Calculus, all the way...
We are proud to announce that Peres Elementary and the Efficacy Institute were recently featured in the March/April 2011 issue of NEA Today (published...