Practice Activity: Leading a Problem Clarification Process
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School G

As we reviewed the reading data, which included the Gates-MacGinitie, MSPAP and CTBS scores for grades 1-5, we found several trends. One trend was that the gap between males and females tended to decrease as the children aged. Another trend we observed was that the gap between minorities and majorities increased as the children aged After reviewing the data, we concluded that the gap between males and females requires no extra intervention, since the problem corrected itself. We also concluded that we need to focus on low-performing groups in order to increase reading proficiency. Rather than focusing solely on minority students, who account for a small percentage of our population, it would be more beneficial to target all low-performing students. We should provide these low-performing students with extra interventions in order to allow all students to reach their potential. This achievement was measured by unit assessments and concepts checks as prescribed by the MathWings program as well as CTBS and MSPAP. An analysis of the data reveals that a significant percentage of students are still performing below acceptable standards. This includes but is not limited to a disproportionate percentage of minority students. The following were identified as possible root causes:

  • Students' attitude toward assessments and the level of family involvement.
  • Within the classroom, different standards and expectations still exist. (Example: the amount of assessments, scoring practices and expectations need to be clearly defined and consistent per grade level.)
  • Continue to incorporate both explanations of reasoning and speed and accuracy in calculations through the use of concept checks, performance tasks, and facts tests.
  • Student achievement in mathematics would increase by offering opportunities for tutoring to low-performing students.
  • Continue to support and develop programs to motivate all students to perform well on all measures.
The "Referrals to the Principal" were used to disaggregate the behavior data:
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • Grade
  • School standard not followed
The following results were found:
  • Males had significantly more referrals than females.
  • Minorities had significantly more referrals than majorities.
  • The highest number of referrals were for "hurting others with words/actions."
  • 56 percent of repeat referrals were low performing in reading.
  • 47 percent of repeat referrals were low performing in mathematics.
  • 67 percent of repeat referrals were minority students from literacy class.
  • 52 percent of repeat referrals were minority students from mathematics class
  • 55 percent of male repeat referrals were low performing in reading.
  • 48 percent of male repeat referrals were low performing in mathematics
High-impact root causes were discussed. The team concluded that there was a lack of training in how to effectively manage minority students, cultural diversity, and value development. Lack of staff training for students with behavior problems was also cited. Of major importance was the correlation between low reading and math scores and repeated behavior referrals. It was felt that males do not use alternative methods of dealing with aggression other than physical action.
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