Best Practices for Raising Student Achievement

By Bobby Moore

Many states are using some type of achievement growth measure to evaluate teacher effectiveness. Growth measures or value-added data are popular because they level the playing field to determine how much of an impact a teacher, principal, school, or district has on student learning, regardless of the socioeconomic status of the families attending the district.

We have found that the level of growth that a student group experiences is not limited to the effectiveness of the teacher. Battelle for Kids is a not-for-profit organization that offers school improvement services to districts nationwide. For the last decade, we have led a school improvement collaborative of more than 100 districts that uses value-added data, as well as other measures, to provide high-quality information to inform data-driven decisions for professional development.

We have observed and recorded low-performing teachers, buildings, and districts moving from low student growth to high student growth in one year. Many of these changes have been documented by how a building or district has approached structures and procedures, curriculum alignment, and leadership.

Over the past two years, we have researched the stories and strategies behind the highest-performing and most effective teachers, principals, schools, and districts in the state of Ohio. We have surveyed and interviewed educators from the highest-performing schools or those from the schools that have made the greatest improvement in growth data over the past two years. Five common strategies emerged.

Subscribers please click here to continue reading. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to purchase this article or to obtain a subscription to ASBJ.