The ultimate goal for monitoring student progress is to ensure that all students are successful in attaining state and district standards. Teachers need to teach and assess the indicators they are responsible for teaching on an ongoing basis so that they will know where their students are at any given time in relationship to those indicators being monitored. Teachers need to regularly ask these four questions:
- What do I want my students to know and do?
- Where are my students?
- What evidence do I have to know that?
- What do I plan to do about it?
There is no question that the monitoring plan, in and of itself, does not address staff needs in the areas of understanding the indicators, creating good observations and interpretations of student work, understanding what good student work looks like on the indicator, and analyzing the results. Some leaders would argue you need to provide staff development on those issues before you ask staff to monitor. But that might delay moving forward on a data collection process that is aligned to the indicators. Creating a school-wide expectation and requirement to monitor and submit student performance data on the indicators provides a focus for the discussion and a more urgent need to learn how best to examine the work. The discussion of the performance results will naturally lead back around to a discussion of how best to assess proficiency on the indicator, what the student performance tells you about what students know and don't know, and how you can use the diagnostic information to plan instruction to support students in demonstrating proficiency on the indicator. That should provide a stronger motivation for acquiring the appropriate skills.