Do You Know What Your Students Know? A principal - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


PPT – Do You Know What Your Students Know? A principal PowerPoint presentation | free to download - id: 5f1607-NzIxM


The Adobe Flash plugin is needed to view this content

Get the plugin now

View by Category
About This Presentation

Do You Know What Your Students Know? A principal


Do You Know What Your Students Know? A principal s guide to improving student achievement Lani Seikaly, partner Hillcrest and Main, Inc. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

Number of Views:381
Avg rating:3.0/5.0
Slides: 129
Provided by: LaniSe7
Learn more at:


Write a Comment
User Comments (0)
Transcript and Presenter's Notes

Title: Do You Know What Your Students Know? A principal

Do You Know What Your Students Know?A
principals guide to improving student achievement
  • Lani Seikaly, partner
  • Hillcrest and Main, Inc.
  • http//
  • and project director of MDK12
  • http//

What do principals of low performing schools need
to put in place to improve their student
achievement? Where do they need to focus their
staffs time and school resources?
Focus Question
  • What can you learn from your AYP Data?

What can you learn from your AYP data?
  • Are you meeting the target?
  • Do the data help inform instruction?
  • If your results are similar next year, will you
    meet the 2006 AMO? The 2007 AMO?
  • What implications does this have for your school?

State assessments only inform schools where their
students are performing at the time of testing.
  • Teachers must know where their students are at
    any point in the school year.

Thanks to NCLB and the mandate to assess state
standards, states and districts have a target
that is known and relatively stationary.
Though standards-based education precedes NCLB by
a decade, the accountability programs designed to
meet AYP rules have been the catalyst for states
and districts to take a closer look at the degree
to which their teachers understand and teach the
content standards and assessments align with
their standards.
How long has your state had state content
  • How long have they assessed them
  • How long has your school been
  • accountable for student performance on them?
  • What are the consequences for not meeting state
    performance standards?

Is the focus on standards resulting in improved
"After more than a decade, it's fair to be asking
whether the standards-based approach to education
reform works. We're seeing pretty strong evidence
that it does," said Education Week Research
Director Christopher Swanson.
A report by the magazine Education Week
released this month found that states that made
the largest gains on the NAEP -- including
Delaware, Massachusetts, North Carolina and Texas
-- were also the most fervent and longest
supporters of standards-based education reforms.
The report, "Quality Counts 2006," found that
factors such as per-pupil spending and student
demographics had less of an impact on student
achievement than a state's history of raising
expectations and standards.
  • How do state standards and NCLB change
    expectations for what happens in our schools?

Standards-based reform changes everything
  • Defines what we expect all students to know and
    be able to do.
  • Expects educators to take all students to
    proficiency on those standards.

  • Before Standards
  • Teachers taught what they thought was important.
  • After Standards
  • Teachers are expected to teach the content

  • Before Standards
  • Teachers had different expectations for
    different groups of students.
  • After
  • Standards
  • Teachers are expected to take all students to

  • Before Standards
  • The focus was on how well teachers taught.
  • After Standards
  • The focus is on how well students learn.

  • Before Standards
  • Only selected students were enrolled in higher
    level courses.
  • After Standards
  • All students are expected to have equity of
    opportunity for enrollment in higher level

Standards-based education makes a huge difference
in expectations for teachers. And so it becomes
even more critical to know that teachers
understand and are teaching the content standards
identified for their grade level courses.
What activities do teachers need to engage in
today that they might not have done 10 years ago?
  • Align instruction and assessment with state
    content standard indicators
  • Know where your students are performing on the
  • Diagnose what students know and still need to
    learn in relation to those indicators
  • Engage in grade level team examinations of
    student work
  • Work toward a common understanding of content

Focus Question
  • What are the reasons for low performance?

What are the reasons for low performance?
  • Have you clarified your problem?
  • What are your hypotheses for low performance?
  • What do experts say?

School improvement plans are typically
oversized, imprecise, and an obstacle to
improvement. They set off a riot of activities --
which supplant the work of teachers to create,
adapt, and evaluate lessons and strategies aimed
at helping higher proportions of students master
essential standards. Mike Schmoker in The
Real Causes of Higher Achievement
To accurately identify the problem, teams need
data about their instructional program. There
are five processes that need to be in place to
hit any instructional target and should serve as
the basis for an exploration of your
instructional program.
How to Hit your Instructional Target
  • Understand the target
  • Teach the content standards
  • Assess the content standards
  • Monitor student progress
  • Intervene with students not succeeding

Questions we need to ask
  • Do all teachers
  • Know the content standards and indicators they
    are responsible for teaching?
  • Understand the intent of the indicators?
  • Know what the state assessment is testing and how
    it is scored?
  • Recognize proficient performance?
  • Align instruction and assessment with content
    standard indicators?
  • Diagnose what students know and still need to
    learn and monitor their progress?

What are your hypotheses for any areas of low
performance in your school or district?
I recently had the opportunity to work with 18
Title I schools in a large school district, 10 of
whom had not meant AYP for two years and were on
the needs improvement list.
I was asked to design and lead training for
principals and their leadership teams that
resulted in moving off (and or staying off) the
needs improvement list.
The journey was bumpy
  • but we learned a lot about operationalizing
    school improvement research into an action plan
    that improved student achievement to meet the AYP

Problem clarification raised a number of
questions for our schools.
  • Were we teaching the content standards we were
  • Were the state content standards embedded in our
    district curriculum?
  • Did anyone know where our students were on
    mastering the content standards on a daily or
    weekly level?
  • Were we collecting classroom formative data?

In some of our lowest-achieving schools, there
is a patent mismatch between the real, taught
curriculum and the actual standards that are
assessed -- by state, standardized, or district
assessments.Mike Schmoker in The Real Causes
of Higher Achievement
For all our so-called common curriculum, very
little has been done -- let's be honest -- to
ensure that the taught and the tested curriculum
are aligned.Mike Schmoker in The Real Causes
of Higher Achievement
After surveying staff to better understand our
problem, we also found
  • Staff didnt understand the AYP target
  • Staff didnt align instruction and classroom
    assessment with content standards
  • Staff didnt monitor student progress
  • Staff believed their instruction had less of an
    impact on student learning than demographics
    (particularly poverty and special needs)

After surveying principals to better understand
our problem, we found
  • Principals didnt know how to lead the data
    analysis discussion
  • Principals didnt expect teachers to collect
    monitoring data
  • Principals didnt expect teachers to use
    diagnostic data to inform their instruction

While conducting classroom walkthroughs, we
  • Classroom work and assignments not aligned with
    content standards
  • Inconsistent evaluations of student work between
  • Rubrics and scoring tools not consistent with
    content standard indicators
  • Inconsistent evidence of team planning
  • Lack of evidence of regular teacher feedback and
    student revisions

By the end of problem solving, it was painfully
clear that
  • Staff were not clear on what students were
    expected to know and do and what good performance
    looks like.
  • Staff taught their curriculum with little if any
    information about what their students already
    knew and still needed to learn.
  • Schools didnt know what their students knew and
    didnt know.
  • Nonetheless, staff graded students regularly
    (usually based on sorting and comparing criteria
    rather than standards-based criteria).

What do our educational experts believe is

Though we have a good deal of research to draw on
in identifying what effective schools and leaders
do, translating the research into concrete,
practical actions has been more elusive.

We agreed with Mike Schmoker that
  • The combination of three concepts constitutes
    the foundation for results meaningful teamwork
    clear, measurable goals and the regular
    collection and analysis of performance data.

  • Teachers show what they believe is worth
    learning by the way they allocate time in the
    classroom and by the emphasis they convey to
    their students about what is really important.
  • From A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching and
    Assessing A Revision of Blooms Taxonomy of
    Educational Objectives

So where did we go from there?
AYP provides us a relatively stationary target.
  • However, to meet AYP, we need to monitor
    student level data at the classroom level on an
    ongoing basis

So we turned to developing a monitoring system
that focused on those content standards assessed
by the state and that would give us a better idea
of where our students were on an ongoing basis.
Then we focused on how to monitor student
  • We asked teachers to collect monitoring data from
    their classrooms and submit it every two weeks.
  • We held regular data analysis discussions to
    discuss what teachers were finding.

We encountered misunderstandings
  • Some teachers felt the data they collected was an
    aside from their day-to-day instruction.
  • Some schools thought discussing the monitoring
    data as a set of numbers rather than diagnostic
    information was what we wanted them to do.
  • Some schools thought using quarterly assessments
    would give them the information they needed to
    inform instruction.

What did we learn?
  • I think monitoring has improved learning in our
    school in many ways but probably the biggest
    thing is that it has focused us. We have learned
    that the rigor and challenge in our curriculum
    have changed, and we have to be more focused and
    consistent with what were doing.
  • Laura McCutcheon, Staff Development Teacher

What did we learn?
  • Monitoring tools sharpened school and teacher
    focus on what they were expected to assess and,
    therefore, teach.
  • Teachers were willing to comply with the data
    collection but saw no relationship between the
    data and their instruction.
  • Teachers had collected no formative assessment
    data, only summative data.
  • When asked what the student appeared to know and
    be able to do, their monitoring data could not
    tell them.

After all of that, we still couldnt answer the
  • Where are each of our students in relation to the
    content standards they must attain?
  • What do they know and are able to do?
  • What do they still need to learn?

So now what?
  • Our instruction was better aligned with the
    content standards but we still needed to
    understand what our students knew and still
    needed to learn.

We read what Black and Wiliams had to say
  • about the research that documents the strong
    link between improved student achievement and the
    use of formative data in their Phi Delta Kappan
    article, In the Black Box Raising Standards
    through Classroom Assessment.

Black and Wiliam in their 1998 Phi Delta Kappan
article, In the Black Box Raising Standards
through Classroom Assessment, assert,
  • There is a body of firm evidence that formative
    assessment is an essential component of classroom
    work and that its development can raise standards
    of achievement. We know of no other way of
    raising standards for which such a strong prima
    facie case can be made.

If formative assessments are so critical, then
how do we create good assessments?
We examined the National Research Council book,
Knowing What Students Know, which identified the
key concepts on which good assessments are
built.From Knowing What Students Know by James
W. Pellegrino, Naomi Chudowsky, and Robert
Every assessment, regardless of purpose, rests
on three pillars
  • Cognition, a model of how students represent
    knowledge and develop competence in the subject
  • Observation, tasks or situations that allow one
    to observe students performance
  • Interpretation, an interpretation method for
    drawing inferences from the performance evidence
    thus obtained.
  • James W. Pellegrino, Naomi Chudowsky, and Robert

To effectively monitor student progress, staff
needed to understand
  • the knowledge and cognitive domains of the
    content standard indicators
  • how students learn
  • how to provide students opportunity to
    demonstrate what they know
  • how to interpret student responses

Knowing What Students Know also suggests that
Student work should focus adult-student and
adult-adult conversations to discuss standards.

We also read about the importance of
collaborative examinations of student work.
If we are serious about meeting the NCLB goal to
take all students to proficiency, then this is
not solo work. Grade level teachers must
regularly examine student work as a team.
Joan Richardson, editor of the National Staff
Development Council newsletter, believes
thatThe practice of having teachers work
together to study student work is one of the most
promising professional development strategies in
recent years. Examining student work helps
teachers intimately understand how state and
local standards apply to their teaching practice
and to student work.
Teachers are able to think more deeply about
their teaching and what students are learning. As
they see what students produce in response to
their assignments, they can see the successes as
well as the situations where there are gaps. In
exploring those gaps, they can improve their
practice in order to reach all students.
The Aspen Workshop on High Schools recommended in
its summary report for the Transforming High
Schools Task Force that the continuous and
collaborative examination of student work along
with the personalization of schooling are the two
critical strategies for transforming high schools
at the local level.
At the risk of sounding overly simplistic, the
use of student work as the unrelenting focus of
adult conversations can be the catalyst of
fundamental changes in the educational experience
of adolescents, and the transformation of
teaching and learning at the high school level.
Assessment should be used not simply to judge
how much kids know but to illuminate the nature
of their knowledge and understandings in order to
help kids learn.... Common sense tells us that
on-going, classroom-based assessment can serve
this purpose.
  • Niyogi, Nivedita S. 1995. The Intersection of
    Instruction and Assessment The Classroom.
    Princeton, NJ Educational Testing Service.

Kate Nolan, Director of Re-Thinking
Accountability for the Annenberg Institute of
School Reform, believes
  • The process of studying student work is a
    meaningful and challenging way to be data-driven,
    to reflect critically on our instructional
    practices, and to identify the research we might
    study to help us think more deeply and carefully
    about the challenges our students provide us.

Kate Nolan, Director of Re-Thinking
Accountability for the Annenberg Institute of
School Reform, believes
  • Rich, complex work samples show us how students
    are thinking, the fullness of their factual
    knowledge, the connections they are making.
    Talking about them together in an accountable way
    helps us to learn how to adjust instruction to
    meet the needs of our students.

So we understood
  • that to know where each of our students is in
    relation to content standards, we needed to
    regularly monitor student progress and examine
    student performance to inform our instruction.
    What would that look like? How would we
    operationalize that?

Focus Question
  • What does a team examination of student work look

What does a team examination of student work
look like?
  • How do teachers define proficiency?
  • How do teachers diagnose strengths and needs?
  • How do they record the diagnostic information?
  • Who leads the discussion?
  • What questions need to be asked?

We created an examining student work protocol for
our teams to diagnose student strengths and needs
with the primary purpose of informing instruction.
Only when teachers know where their students are
in relation to the objectives they are
responsible for do they have the information they
need to inform instruction.
Examining Student Work
  • Though teachers have always examined student
    work as part of their grading process, the new
    focus on accountability and standards has driven
    a more structured and collaborative examination
    of student work.

Examining Student Work
  • The focus of the examination has shifted from a
    summative evaluation of student performance to a
    diagnostic evaluation of student performance,
    teacher assignment, and implications for

The Examining Student Work Protocol asks teachers
  • Identify characteristics of proficiency on an
    objective using a specific assignment/assessment
  • Diagnose student strengths and needs on the
  • Determine next instructional steps based on the

In the first part of the protocol,
  • a team of teachers work through the process of
    reaching consensus on what the team believes
    constitutes a proficient response on a selected
    text and question.

Part 1 Reaching Consensus about Proficiency
  • What did you ask the students to do?
  • Which Maryland Content Standard indicator and
    objective were you assessing?
  • What did you consider proficient performance on
    this assignment?
  • Exactly what did students need to say or write
    for you to consider their work proficient?

Stiggins argues that we really cant assess
accurately if we dont understand the target
  • To assess student achievement accurately,
    teachers and administrators must understand the
    achievement targets their students are to master.
    They cannot assess (let alone teach) achievement
    that has not been defined. Stiggins, Richard
    J. 2001. The Principals Leadership Role in
    Assessment. NASSP Bulletin (January 2001) 1326.

A pre-requisite to interpreting student work is a
clear understanding of what you are looking for.
What does a proficient response look like? What
exactly do your students need to know and still
need to learn?
And yet we found the greatest challenge was to
reach consensus on what proficiency looked like
on the assignment. This is particularly
challenging on the reading standards where
proficiency must be defined for each text being
Only after the team has agreed on what
constitutes a proficient response are they able
to diagnose student strengths and needs.
Teachers were surprised at how off the page
their teammates were.
  • Think of all the mixed messages our students
    are receiving when we havent defined proficiency
    on a standard / indicator in the same way.

It is not enough that an individual teacher
defines proficiency.
  • It is critical that at least a grade level
    team has reached consensus on the definition of
    proficiency to ensure that all students are held
    to the same performance expectations.

In the second part of the protocol,
  • the team examines three student papers to
    determine if the response is proficient and to
    identify strengths, needs and instructional next

Part 2 Diagnosing Student Strengths and Needs to
Inform Instruction
  • What did the student demonstrate that they knew?
  • What misconceptions or wrong information did the
    student have?
  • What did the student not demonstrate?
  • How would you find out if they knew it?
  • Based on the team's diagnosis of the student
    performance, what do you do next with that
  • What do you need to re-teach the class?

Each teacher will be asked to bring three samples
of student work from the same assignment or
assessment a response at the top of the class, a
response at the bottom of the class and a
response in the middle of the class.
Teachers must shift their mindset from scoring (a
summative examination) to diagnosing (a formative
examination) student performance.
In many cases teachers have spent a great deal of
time sorting student responses (either by letter
grades or by rubric scores) and virtually no time
diagnosing what students know and still need to
Focus Question
  • What can you learn from examining student work?

What can you learn from examining student work?
  • What do teachers learn about students?
  • What do teachers learn about their instruction?
  • What do teachers learn about their teams
    understanding of content standards?

What did our teachers say about what they learned?
Andrew Nelson, teacher at Harmony Hills E.S.
  • I wish I had caught onto this earlier but at
    one of the meetings, it became apparent that kids
    werent reading the question. That was a big
    awakening to me because I was so focused on how
    to write the answer, we hadnt spent time
    unpacking the question.

Glenn Messier, teacher at Harmony Hills E.S.
  • My teammates proficient responses were a
    little bit more advanced than what I was
    expecting and looking for. They were looking for
    a lot more in-depth answers. To get on the same
    page, I needed to raise the bar for my students.

Ilise Wolf, teacher at Harmony Hills E.S.
  • When youre working on a team, I really find
    I get a lot of ideas from my teammates and
    support and feedback. What I might consider a
    good assignment for a child, another 2nd grade
    teacher might have a few extra words to add that
    would really make a difference to my students.

Eunice Goring, Academic Support Specialist
  • Ive seen a lot of growth. Before they were
    all over the board about what a proficient
    response looked like. Ive seen a lot of growth
    in teachers in terms of defining proficiency and
    being able to have a more realistic and rigorous
    view of what their students can do.

How did the teams capture the data?
How did the teams capture the data?
How did the teams capture the data?
What did we learn?
Teachers came out of this examining student work
process with
  • Grade level consensus of what constitutes
    proficient work on the assignment
  • Formative assessment data
  • Specific information to inform their instruction
  • Strategies for re-teaching
  • Deeper understanding of the intent of the
    standard / indicator they were assessing.
  • Probing questions to ask students to better
    understand where they were

We learned
  • When you have teachers collaborating with other
    teachers and interpreting student performance on
    their own assignments, you have raised the amount
    of investment teachers have in the process and in
    making changes to their practice.

We learned
  • Teachers began to reach consensus on what they
    are looking for in an assignment before they gave
    it to the students. Therefore, their teaching
    was also more aligned with the proficient
    criteria they had identified.

We learned
  • Principals needed to set clear expectations for
    their teams, identify end products and monitor
    whether they were met,

We learned
  • Most importantly, the process mandates the
    regular collection of student performance data
    that is both interpreted and analyzed for where
    the student needs to go next instructionally and
    used to modify instruction.

We learned that we could improve student
achievement and meet AYP.

Focus Question
  • How do principals structure the ongoing
    examination of student work?

What structures need to be put in place?
  • Where will you find the time?
  • What end products do you want teachers to
  • How do you establish a culture for learning
  • What capacity building do teachers need?

How do we build teacher capacity to do this?
  • Shouldnt we do that before we start the

This is on the job training.
  • The focus on interpreting student performance
    and determining what teachers need to do to
    support student performance allows teachers to
    examine their own practice through the lens of
    student needs rather than the lens of good versus
    mediocre teaching.

  • The fact that the process is ongoing allows
    teachers to build capacity over time rather than
    try to absorb everything in an upfront training.

What would the system need to include?
  • Clear expectations for what teachers are expected
    to do and why
  • Time for teams of teachers (teaching the same
    content standards) to meet weekly to reach
    consensus on proficient performances and to
    examine student work

What would the system need to include?
  • A data recording system that demon-strates
    progress is being monitored
  • A data capturing system that provides summary
    data on diagnosis of student performance and next
    instructional steps
  • A monitoring system that provides the principal
    with evidence that the process is being

Bottom line is
  • It is only when teachers and schools start to
    collect the data that provides them the necessary
    information about where a student is in
    relationship to the indicators they must master
    that effective data-driven decision making to
    improve student achievement will happen.

Focus Question
  • What expectations do you need to set?

What expectations do you need to set?
  • How often will you expect teachers to do this?
  • What will you expect teachers to do with the
  • What end products do you want them to produce?
  • How will you expect them to share their findings
    about student progress with you?
  • Whats negotiable whats not?

In his article, The Learning-Centered
Principal, Rick DuFour describes his role to
focus teachers on what students were learning in
the following way
  • As principal, I played an important role in
    initiating, facilitating, and sustaining the
    process of shifting our collective focus from
    teaching to learning. To make collaborative teams
    the primary engine of our school improvement
    efforts, teachers needed time to collaborate.

Rick DuFour advises principals to
  • Provide time for collaboration in the school day
    and school year.
  • Identify critical questions to guide the work of
    collaborative teams.
  • Ask teams to create products as a result of their
  • Insist that teams identify and pursue specific
    student achievement goals.
  • Provide teams with relevant data and information.

DuFour continues
  • Teachers, accustomed to working in isolation,
    needed focus and parameters as they transitioned
    to working in teams. They needed a process to
    follow and guiding questions to pursue. They
    needed training, resources, and support to
    overcome difficulties they encountered while
    developing common outcomes, writing common
    assessments, and analyzing student achievement

Staff members should be able to answer the
following questions
  • Why does my principal expect me to participate in
    examining student work with my team?
  • How will it benefit students?
  • Whos in charge of ensuring this happens?
  • How often does my principal expect me to do this?
  • How will my principal know that I am doing it?
  • What am I expected to produce as end products to
    these dialogues?
  • What am I expected to do with these end products?

How do you lead the process?
  • What questions do you need to regularly ask?
  • How do you monitor the process? How do you
    demonstrate its importance?
  • How do you communicate your expectations?
  • How are you using the information to inform staff
  • How do you use regularly scheduled time to focus
    on the process?

Focus Question
  • How do you use student work to monitor student

Reading Grade 6 Student Monitoring Plan  
Comprehension of Informational Text Determine
and analyze important ideas and messages in
informational texts
Objective Date/ Level Comments Date/Level Comments Date/level Comments
Identify and explain the authors text and intended audience
Identify and explain the authors opinion
State and support main ideas and messages

You can find more information on the School
Improvement in Maryland Web
  • The Examining Student Work Protocol
  • An online course, Using Data to Improve Student
    Achievement (http//
  • Monitoring Templates (http//

(No Transcript)
Using Data to Improve Student Achievement
Using Data to Improve Student Achievement
Principals are increasingly more accountable for
the achievement of their students. This online
course is designed to build a principal's
capacity to use data to improve student
Using Classroom Data to Monitor Individual
Student Progress
Using Classroom Data to Monitor Individual
Student Progress
In this module, principals will enhance their
skill in developing a system to monitor
individual student progress and in supporting
teachers in their collection, analysis, and use
of classroom data to inform instruction and
identify students who need interventions.
Lani Hall Seikaly Contact Information
  • Email
  • Phone 703 867-3921
  • Web site http//
  • Web site http//
  • Web site http//

We can, whenever and wherever we choose,
successfully teach all children whose schooling
is of interest to us. We already know more than
we need to do that. Whether or not we do it must
finally depend on how we feel about the fact that
we havent so far.
Ron Edmonds