What strategies can the School Improvement Team implement to help obtain their goal for improving test scores for students with disabilities by 10%?

Page 9: Use the Data to Guide Decisions

Teacher in front of classAs we pointed out on the previous page, it is important for principals to understand the data presented in assessment reports. They should look at the data in a number of ways, digging deep and collecting additional information when necessary. In order to make informed decisions, principals should separate the data by group (e.g., grade-level, type of disability).

Principals should look for obvious problem areas. For example:

  • Are students with a particular type of disability having more trouble than others?
  • Are students in a particular grade performing worse than others?
  • Are there specific subject areas in which students are performing poorly?

For additional information view the following IRIS Module:

Because many factors influence students’ performance on assessments, it is especially important for students with disabilities to be tested in an appropriate setting with necessary supports. Principals should make sure that inclusive assessment practices are being implemented carefully at their schools.

  • IEP teams should be well-informed in order to determine the best testing situation for students.
  • Students with disabilities should receive the necessary accommodations to give them equal footing with their peers.
  • Students should only participate in alternate assessment for two reasons:
    • The student is unable to participate in the assessment even with all available accommodations.
    • The instructional goals outlined in a student’s IEP cannot be measured by the assessment.


Find results from a recent assessment in your school district (or another district, if necessary) based on the eight items listed on the previous page. What information is available? Are data separated by type of disability? Can you identify groups who seemed to perform poorly on the test? A particular grade level? Students with a particular disability? Did students perform worse in a particular subject area? Describe the performance of the students by group in as much detail as possible

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