How can Ms. Flores and Mr. Ericson use the school summary data to guide their efforts to help improve the scores of students with disabilities?
Page 6: Make Improvements
After interpreting the data, principals should create cross-disciplinary teams of teachers to help develop strategies for improvement.
- School improvement plans should use performance data that have been disaggregated—that is, separated by group—to address the specific needs of students with disabilities.
- Improvement plans should not include measures that negatively affect instruction for students, such as the narrowing of the curriculum, drill and practice exercises, or other short-term approaches to improving long-term student learning. For students with disabilities, in particular, a narrowed scope of instruction has resulted in low expectations for learning.
- Keep in mind that the principal is the role model for instruction and curriculum and assessment for the school. The principal’s attitudes and beliefs will affect assessment and instruction for the entire school. Keep a positive attitude, focus on what students need in order to be successful, and understand that change may take time.
Gather state and district data for the past several years from two local school districts. This information can often be found in local newspapers. Compare the performance of students with disabilities at two grade levels in the high-performing district to the performance of general education students in comparable grades in a lower-performing district. Write a description that tells how the special education students compare with the general education students. You might discuss trends at different age groups and across years.