Data -driven decision-making within a professional learning community: Assessing the predictive qualities of curriculum -based measurements to a high-stakes, state test of reading achievement at the elementary level

Susan L Bigger, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract

As at no other time in our nation's educational history have public schools felt more pressure for their students to perform well on standardized achievement tests. The pressure of NCLB is profound and challenges all schools to look for predictive assessment and preventive actions to accurately gauge student achievement prior to their students taking high-stakes assessments. The data collection and analysis presented in this study represents a qualitative description of Carl G. Renn's educational landscape, as it pertains to literacy. In this landscape, themes of professional development practices, implementation of Balanced Literacy, and instructional uses of classroom assessments were investigated to determine whether these components have a relationship to student achievement, as determined by a statewide high-stakes literacy test. The descriptive side of the study is to portray a comprehensive picture of the literacy curriculum and instructional practices used by a high poverty and high achieving National Blue Ribbon School (2004). Unique to this award winning school is that two years prior to winning National Blue Ribbon the same school was on the warning list for not meeting Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) as required by NCLB. As added evidence, an empirical relationship between classroom literacy assessments and their ability to predict/suggest PSSA performance is offered to support and compliment the qualitative descriptions. A belief put forth in this research is that the clues of predicting students' performances on these measures already rests in the hands of able teachers within classrooms but go by unnoticed and unstudied. Teachers every day are employing multiple assessment methods that evaluate students' growth and progress in their classrooms. However, these same teachers may or may not be using data to drive their instructional decisions. This void in professional practice leaves them not knowing whether their classroom assessments have any predictive value to the looming high-stakes test. This uncertainty is coupled with teacher isolation and lack of opportunities to discuss their student work within a collaborative teacher inquiry environment. Therefore, a closer look at creating a culture of teacher inquiry, the impact of professional development, and the value of curriculum-based assessments in education deserves further exploration.

Subject Area

Educational evaluation|School administration|Curricula|Teaching

Recommended Citation

Bigger, Susan L, "Data -driven decision-making within a professional learning community: Assessing the predictive qualities of curriculum -based measurements to a high-stakes, state test of reading achievement at the elementary level" (2006). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3209996.
https://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI3209996

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