Center for the Study of Systemic Reform
   in Milwaukee Public Schools



Center for the Study of Systemic Reform in
    Milwaukee Public Schools

Information About the Project

     This research focuses on three interrelated aspects of systemic reform: Accountability: District accountability reports and measures; Data-based decision making in schools: Training for use and interpretation of data in schools, especially as part of school improvement and educational plans; and Assessment literacy of staff and teachers: Professional development of teachers aimed at understanding the connections across standards, assessments, curriculum, and classroom practices.
     These are the three pillars of most urban accountability systems that strive for continuous improvement of student learning. The accountability function tracks progress in a consistent way and sets common goals. Data-based decision making enables schools to implement the goals at the school level. Assessment literacy allows teachers to implement goals in classroom instruction by comparing common standards for learning, assessments (standardized and others), and curriculum, and to make balanced adjustments, rather than, for example, overemphasizing standardized tests.

What the Project does

     Project staff are developing value-added measures of school performance and are conducting statistical analyses requested by the district that lead to a greater understanding of these measures, including comparisons with attainment, or average scores.
     In the area of data-based decision making, project staff are developing seminars to train schools how to effectively organize, present, and use data for continuous improvement, e.g., establishing goals for change, recognizing trends, and determining when goals are achieved.
     In the area of assessment literacy, project staff are helping design training for teachers to understand links across standards for learning, assessments (both standardized and performance), instruction, and curriculum. With this training, teachers can better understand what students know and which part of the curriculum needs more emphasis, avoiding inappropriate reliance on any single assessment.


Information Staff Reports Links