A Network Connecting School Leaders From Around The Globe
The School AdministratorOctober 2011 Number 9, Vol. 68| Missing the Mark| 24-27
Envision this: Four teachers on their school’s 5th-grade team meet to analyze data at least weekly. During a typical 45-minute planning session, the teachers use a protocol to study results of an assessment on two-digit division they all administered a few days before.
The teachers start by identifying the strengths and needs of most students and by deciding whether gradewide regrouping or reteaching of key concepts is needed. Next they plan more intensive, small-group interventions on one-digit divisors for the handful of students who still need them, as well as an activity to challenge the high-fliers ready for more advanced work.
Finally, the four teachers discuss a new strategy to engage reluctant learners they will try in the next unit.
The teachers walk away feeling the meeting was a good use of their time and respecting anew the expertise of their colleagues.
Now, picture this: Four teachers on the 4th-grade team at another school value their independence above all. They have common planning time scheduled several days a week, but if the teachers get together at all, it is merely to trade a worksheet or two or decide logistics, such as how to transfer the math manipulatives or when to schedule the field trip.
The teachers view the common assessments administered by their school district as a burden that both they and their students must endure.
A Shared Responsibility
Whether schools have productive data-analysis sessions leading to instructional improvements and increased student learning or meetings that are a waste of time and resources could well hinge ...
Ronald Thomas is associate director of the Center for Leadership in Education at Towson University in Baltimore, Md. E-mail:email@example.com