Results: The Key to Continuous School Improvement

Results: The Key to Continuous School Improvement

Results: The Key to Continuous School Improvement

Results: The Key to Continuous School Improvement

Synopsis

Facilitate great improvement in student learning by setting goals, working collaboratively, and keeping track of student achievement data from many sources.

Excerpt

The success of the 1st edition of Results has been very gratifying. I believe its success is largely owed to those whose real-life success stories fill its pages.

Since its publication, the combined efforts of innumerable people have resulted in great progress on the school improvement front. It is far easier to talk to audiences of educators about using data—sensibly—for improvement purposes. Educators seem much more apt to take a critical, professional view of initiatives and the evidence base that supports—or doesn't support—their use. And more schools than ever are rejecting vague, multiple [improvement goals] in favor of clear, measurable achievement goals. This is perhaps the best development of all. The recent NAEP data—showing record levels of achievement at elementary, middle, and high school levels—speak to this.

For my part, in this 2nd edition of Results, I have tried to address those areas where I think improvement is still needed. I have included new material and a number of new examples that I hope will more clearly illustrate the power of focusing on certain essential elements of improvement.

I have included significant new material in the area of teamwork—an area where others have asked me to be more explicit. Chiefly, we need to be more disciplined and systematic in our professional collaboration—and to be single-minded in our concern with identifying and then solving particularly difficult instructional and learning problems. No proven program or strategy will ever replace the need for focused collaboration and applied intelligence at the ground level. We must cultivate a new professional ethos, not unlike what obtains in places like Silicon Valley—of everyone at all times inventing, adapting, refining, adding to, disseminating, and then recognizing and rewarding new and more effective practices that get results. I have also included a section on the need for such focused, structured, goal-oriented collaboration at the administrative level, as well.

I've tried to clarify and define improvement goals and subgoals with an emphasis on even greater simplicity and economy. The implications of the Third International Math and Science Study (TIMSS)—that less really is more—is full of both hope and challenge . . .

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