Practice Activity: Leading a Problem Clarification Process
Problem Clarification: Peer Review Exercise

Have you identified high impact root causes and contributing factors that you will address in your school improvement plan?

Directions: The school team should present the following information about their data and root causes to the group. After the school has presented, the peer reviewers should ask the following questions. At the end of the questioning, the reviewers should be prepared to share whether the presenting school identified a problem that, if effectively addressed, would most likely result in improved student achievement.

School presenters should share the following information with the group.

  1. The data results you were concerned about.
  2. The root causes of the data results that you reached consensus were both in your control and high impact.
  3. How you reached consensus on these root causes.
  4. Whether you believe the process you used provided in-depth thinking and substantive answers.

Peer reviewers should ask the following questions and follow through with any probing or clarification questions that help the presenting school decide whether their conclusions appear valid and will lead them to improved performance.

  1. Are the root causes they have identified really in the school’s control? Can staff do something to change that cause?
  2. Are the root causes stated in specific enough terms so that you know how to address them?
  3. Are the root causes really high impact? Are they likely to result in improved performance if you try to address them?
  4. What data did the school collect to determine that this was a problem? What data could they collect to determine if this was a problem?
  5. Are there root causes that might be more likely to have greater impact on improved performance in the area identified?
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