Monitoring School Performance: A Guide for Educators

Monitoring School Performance: A Guide for Educators

Monitoring School Performance: A Guide for Educators

Monitoring School Performance: A Guide for Educators

Synopsis

This work evaluates methods of establishing and monitoring school systems either at the school, district, authority or state level from a theoretical and practical point of view. The analysis and interpretation of data on

Excerpt

This book is intended as a practical guide for teachers and administrators who are developing systems for monitoring school performance, either at the school level, or at the education authority, district, or state level. It endeavours to contribute to the promotion of better monitoring systems, and to serve as a general reference for those conducting educational evaluations. However, the book is more than a 'how-to' manual in that it also discusses the theories underlying monitoring systems, reviews the literature on various aspects of monitoring, and examines the potential uses and misuses of data describing the schooling process. the book also discusses the inherent tensions of monitoring related to accountability and the professional autonomy of teachers. Much of this discussion, and the examples given throughout the book, pertain to monitoring in Canada, the us, and the uk. However, the book establishes general guidelines for developing monitoring systems that would apply elsewhere.

A central theme of the book is that the estimation of school effects is not an exact science. the processes of schooling are complex and interactive. For over two decades researchers have been trying to answer questions about the extent to which schools differ in their results and why some schools seem to perform better than others. Their work is being furthered considerably by recent improvements in tests and survey instruments, statistical methods, and research design. While the attempts to answer these questions are helping us to understand better how schools work, they are also revealing the com-plexity of schooling. If anything, the research has shown us that monitoring systems by themselves are inadequate for diagnosing the causes of poor school performance and prescribing corresponding remedies. However, monitoring systems can provide useful feedback about the strengths and weaknesses of a schooling system. They can enable us to gauge whether inequities in academic achievement are increasing or waning. They can serve to assess whether a school or district reform is having a significant impact. They can help us learn why some schools are performing better than others, and thereby raise critical questions about educational policy.

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