- Systematically and regularly collect and analyze data to assess whether progress toward attainment of objectives is satisfactory.
- Decide whether revisions to the plan are needed.
- Does the data indicate that we are making good progress?
- Do we need to make any changes?
- Do we need to modify our plan to meet our objective?
In most organizations, what gets monitored gets done. Even clearly stated curricular goals will lose their potential to drive the efforts of a school if no effort is made to collect and analyze accurate information about student achievement that is reflective of those goals. Schools need to collect data that they identified in their school improvement plan as evidence that that student performance is improving at a satisfactory rate. Unsatisfactory progress should result in a further analysis of what is not working and what needs to be changed.
Schools sometimes get confused between the data that should be used as evidence that student performance is progressing toward attainment of the objective and the data that should be used as evidence that the strategy has been implemented successfully. An evaluation of a teacher in-service activity that indicated teachers felt they had learned what a proficient response on a MSA reading question would look like is only evidence that the in-service activity was successful (assuming that was the objective of the in-service). That in-service activity may lead to teachers instructing students in understanding what a satisfactory answer would include and may, in fact, lead to improved scores on the reading section of MSA. However, the evaluation from the in-service activity is not evidence that students are making progress toward the attainment of the objective.
The school will need to collect data that indicates student performance in an identified and related skill set is improving before they have evidence that students are progressing.