Virtual School Data Room

By: Kortney Tate

Demographic Data

2012-2013
White - 303
Black - 281
Hispanic - 0
Asian - 10
Other - 11
Total - 605
{Free & Reduced Lunch 44.8%}

2013-2014
White - 303
Black - 281
Hispanic - 4
Asian - 12
Other - 6
Total - 606
{Free & Reduced Lunch45.5%}

2014-2015
White - 284
Black - 293
Hispanic - 7
Asian - 15
Other - 6
Total - 605
{Free & Reduced Lunch 51.1%}

Test Data

ACT Aspire

2013-2014
Reading
6th - 34.6% (Proficient)
7th - 39.5%
8th - 34.7%

Math
6th - 42%
7th - 37.4%
8th - 25.3%

2014-2015
Reading
6th - 45.4%
7th - 32.3%
8th - 49.7%

Math
6th - 55.7%
7th - 28%
8th - 42.4%

Process Data

One program that has taken place in our school for the last couple of years is STEAM, or Academic Scholars. This is the advanced route in middle school. It involves project based learning and cross curricular instruction. There are many benefits to this program but there are also downfalls.

Strengths
  • Real life problems
  • Project based learning
  • Cross curricular content
  • Student-centered learning


Weaknesses

  • Not all students are in every academic scholars class making it difficult to do cross curricular lessons and projects
  • Not implemented with fidelity
  • Very little collaboration among Academic Scholars teachers

Perceptual Data

I gave the Academic Optimism survey to 5 teachers in my school. The results showed that our school's academic optimism is higher than 84% of other schools that have taken this same survey.

Data Analysis

One area that strikes me as troubling is the 7th grade math scores. They are the only scores that have fallen in the years that the ACT Aspire has been given. Not only are they the only scores that have fallen, they have fallen drastically. 9% is a huge drop. As I reflect on the data, one thing I think might have hindered 7th grade math is the Academic Scholars program. One thing that is weak with the program is that it is not being implemented correctly by all the teachers. One particular teacher that does not like the cross curricular and collaborative nature of the Academic Scholars program is the 7th grade math teacher. As a future administrator I feel that this issue needs to be addressed.

As an administrator I would use the mixed scanning model laid out by Hoy & Tarter (2008). The basic mission of our school is to make sure that every student learns. Our academic optimism shows that most teachers feel that they do a good job of creating opportunities for students to be successful and that they want students to achieve. So seeing these test scores shows that there is a disconnect. Since I do not have all the information about what is going on in this teacher's classroom, I need to move slow before I assign blame solely to them. I will begin by using walk throughs to get a better idea of what is going on. Then, I will slowly start implementing programs/policies that help this teacher collaborate with some of the more successful math teachers. This would help our academic scholars program as well as our test scores. I will move slowly on this process. I will try one program/policy first. If it does not seem to help our students' scores on the benchmark assessments, I will try the next program/policy. I do not want to go full force into a program and then be afraid to change it if it is not working.

Another reason I want to move slow on this decision is because I do not want to hurt any egos. The teacher in question is always willing to try new things and I do not want to make them upset with me because they are a strong ally. So by fractionalizing my decisions I will make sure that I am not alienating them. Also, we want to move slowly because the students are in danger of falling behind. Although this seems like a time to move quickly, it actually is not. We do not want to shift instructional practices so quickly that the students are even more lost. By making small changes, we ensure that they are getting the instruction but we are not losing an entire grade of students. We will be able to reassess our measures at the benchmark testing that takes place in December and March. This way we know before the major test in May if our decisions are working.

References

Hoy, W. K., & Tarter, C. J. (2008). Administrations solving the problems of practice: Decision-

making concepts, cases and consequences. Boston: Pearson.