Goal Setting for School Improvement

The fundamental purpose of setting school improvement goals is to assess the effectiveness of improvement efforts. The utility of the school improvement process rests on the inferences one can draw from meeting a goal. For example, a typical school improvement goal may be “increase the percentage of students meeting standards in grade 4 reading by 5%.” While this type of goal is specific and concise, the results will provide little to no information as to the effectiveness of improvement efforts. Why? Because increasing grade 4 reading by 5% is likely an arbitrary goal that is unrelated to school performance and not evidence-based.

Leadership and Return on Investment

SCHOOL DISTRICT LEADERS face challenges when they attempt to document the relationship between costs and quality. Return on investment analysis is motivated by the strategic intentions of school boards and leadership to increase quality and optimize resource allocation. No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top and state accountability laws have shaped a definition of…

Driving Student Performance with Systemic Analytics

Improving student performance is more dramatic when school leaders employ systemic analytics. Despite continued emphasis on systemic approaches to school improvement, schools struggle to use data and information in a manner consistent with systems thinking.  Systemic thinking requires an holistic approach, one that focuses on the total school system by examining and understanding the interrelationships…