School Improvement in Maryland

School Improvement

Improving Student Achievement

School Improvement is the single most important business of the school. It is the process that schools use to ensure all students are achieving at high levels. “The combination of three concepts constitutes the foundation for positive improvement results: meaningful teamwork; clear, measurable goals; and the regular collection and analysis of performance data.” Mike Schmoker

A Principal's Role in Improving Student Achievement

Principals are increasingly more accountable for the achievement of their students. But where should they focus their efforts to improve student achievement? This section identifies key expectations, processes, and structures principals need to put in place to lead their school in improving student achievement.

In This Section:
  • Understanding Your Target
  • Analyzing Your Data
  • Examining Student Work
  • Monitoring Student Progress


The Classroom-Focused Improvement Process (CFIP) is a six-step process for increasing student achievement that is planned and carried out by teachers meeting in grade level, content, or vertical teams as a part of their regular lesson planning cycle. The CFIP has six steps which respond to the overall question, "What do we know from available data about current levels of student performance and how will we respond to these data?"

In This Section:
  • Introducing CFIP Process
  • Conducting the Process
  • Analyzing Student Strengths and Needs

Leading Your School

“The problem is not tests per se but the failure…to be results focused and data driven. Coaches regularly adjust performance in light of ongoing results, even dramatically altering their lesson plans in light of unexpectedly poor results.” Grant Wiggins

School Improvement Planning

School improvement planning is led by the principal and a school improvement team but ultimately must involve the entire staff. This section provides guidance to school improvement teams about creating a vision, a school improvement team and a data-driven process for analyzing data and making instructional decisions based on good data analysis.

Online Course: Using Data to Improve Student Achievement

This online course is designed to build the capacity of school leaders to use data to improve student achievement. It provides guidance and exercises to use state, school and classroom data to increase student performance.